More than a dozen named storms are expected in the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, 15 of which could become hurricanes with sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. The next named storm is expected to be named after August 31.
2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season (Normal-Year):
18 named storms (12 named tropical storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes):
11 (8 tropical storms, 3 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes) named in 2018
A hurricane season occurs annually from June 1 to November 30
An average season hosts nine named storms, including three hurricanes and two major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Seven of the named storms make landfall in the United States, according to NOAA. In 2018, four hurricanes were named: Isaac, Irma, Jose and Katia.
Tropical cyclones are similar to hurricanes; however, they do not rise to the maximum sustained surface wind speed of 74 mph.
Last year, 10 hurricanes became powerful tropical cyclones and four were major hurricanes: Katia, Irma, Maria and Michael. Two hurricanes made landfall in the United States, and the storm system resulted in the deaths of over 100 people in Puerto Rico.
Four of the 11 hurricanes in 2017 became powerful tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of 111 mph or higher. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate were on this level.
The highest winds recorded during a hurricane are from the eye wall. Stronger winds are reported from the eye, while weak winds are reported from the periphery.
The average United States landfall from all hurricanes in the Atlantic basin since records began in 1851 is 10.3 miles long and 5.4 miles wide.
Hurricane season is dependent on the amount of tropical moisture in the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, there is below-normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic. But if the average of 94.9 F is exceeded, then warmer-than-normal water will likely mean a record-breaking season in the Atlantic.
NOAA’s five-year outlook is published on June 1 for the seasons beginning June 1, 2018-June 1, 2020.
The hurricane season “predicted to be on the above-normal side is important,” said Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University, which develops and operates hurricane forecasts.
“This year is the opposite of what we’ve had the last few years, where we had a below-normal, somewhat boring season. Things are really quite chaotic,” Klotzbach said.