What's the forecast for the 2017 hurricane season?
For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.
For hurricanes to form, several ingredients are necessary. These include warm water temperatures at precisely 80 degrees or higher, the proper height of atmospheric moisture levels, and a rain storm developing nearby.
How to cook up a hurricane
How to cook up a hurricane: Add ocean water, moist
tropical air, and a
developing storm system. Then STIR.
1 large ocean
1 very moist air layer
1 forming storm system (i.e., "tropical disturbance")
1 weak wind sheer
1. Preheat tropical ocean waters to 80 degrees to a depth of 50 meters (150 feet).
2. Sprinkle in a dense level of moist air about 3 miles into the atmosphere.
3. Mix in a developing storm system.
4. Make sure to turn down the velocity of any oncoming wind sheer. (Strong incoming gusts can break up your otherwise perfectly formed hurricane.)
5. When you suddenly realize that you have created a weather monster, you'll want to get move as quickly and as far away as possible!
Hurricane facts, information & images around the Web:
Throughout hurricane season, keep it here for hurricane updates along with tips on how to stay safe before, during and after a major hurricane or tropical storm.
NASA Hurricane Images - Get the latest satellite images of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic and Pacific, including video clips from high above the earth courtesy of the International Space Station.
Hurricanes - online meteorology guide - This University of Illinois guide features a cool "fly through a 3D hurricane" feature plus information on how hurricanes form and develop, hurricane observation and tracking, preparation and safety tips.
Hurricanes Safety Checklist - The American Red Cross guides visitors to the science behind hurricane formulation including photos & illustrations, a discussion on hurricane ratings, and what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.
Hurricane: Storm Science - Check out a fun, fascinating online exhibition from the Miami Science Center with photos, animations, information and safety guides, interactive games and suggestions for classroom activities.
Wiz Kids - Hurricanes - Here's a kid-friendly guide to monster storms featuring photos and illustrations plus information on how, why and where they form. Also includes a glossary of hurricane lingo, related resources and lessons plans for teachers.