Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand and Gabrielle are not the most popular baby names for 2019, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the next couple of months those names could become as well known as Florence, Hugo and Hazel.
Yep, those are the names of the next named tropical cyclones in the Atlantic this year. Not all named storms become hurricanes, and whether they make landfall and therefore become famous according to NOAA is largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a possible landfall.
But NOAA announced it has determined that this year conditions are more favorable for an above-normal hurricane season than the outlook in May.
The hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the peak months from August through October. In May, NOAA gave 2019 a 30 percent chance of being an above-normal hurricane season and it has now increased that to 45 percent. One reason for the change is that El Nino has ended.
NOAA is now predicting that there will be 10 to 17 named storms, which means they have winds in excess of 39 mph; of those, NOAA predicts five to nine hurricanes, which are storms with winds in excess of 74 mph, and two major hurricanes with winds in excess of 111 mph.
The average is 12 named storms, with six of those becoming hurricanes during the six-month hurricane season; and so far this year there have been two – Andrea and Barry.