Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

121,366 subscribers and counting ...

By in
| Earth on Jun 01, 2014

2014 Atlantic hurricane season begins

June 1 is the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season.

June 1 marks the beginning of meteorological summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which is considered to be the months of June, July, and August. At the same time, June 1 also marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts for six months and officially ends on November 30. Of course, Mother Nature does not abide by the rules, so it isn’t unusual to see storms develop in the month of May or into December. Although NOAA is predicting a near-normal to below-normal season in the Atlantic, it does not mean you should let your guard down. It only takes one storm to make the season memorable.

Average number of storms for the Atlantic via NOAA.

Average number of storms for the Atlantic via NOAA.

Curious to see the upcoming names for the 2014 season? How many storms do you think will receive a name? Tropical cyclones receive a name when they reach tropical storm status, or have sustained winds of 39 miles per hour (mph) or greater.

2014 Atlantic hurricane names from NOAA/WMO. Image Credit: CNN Weather

2014 Atlantic hurricane names from NOAA/WMO. Image Credit: CNN Weather

While NOAA is predicting fewer storms across the Atlantic thanks to a developing El Niño, the eastern Pacific is expected to see an increase in activity.

Last week, we definitely saw activity ramp up quickly across the Eastern Pacific as a tropical storm quickly became a major hurricane and was named Amanda. Amanda became the strongest May tropical cyclone to ever form in the Eastern Pacific. The storm rapidly intensified into a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph. Fortunately, the storm developed over open waters and eventually dissipated before making a Mexico landfall. Could this be a sign that the Eastern Pacific will be active and the Atlantic showing below normal activity? Possibly. But you cannot jump to conclusions on just one storm. Only time will tell!

Hurricane Amanda in the Eastern Pacific on May 25, 2014. Image Credit: NASA

Hurricane Amanda in the Eastern Pacific on May 25, 2014. Image Credit: NASA

Bottom line: The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season has officially begun! If the NOAA outlook is correct, we could see below-average activity across the Atlantic. Of course, we strongly urge you to take precautions now and be ready. It only takes one storm to cause major problems.

Pacific in 2014 looks like record-breaking El Niño year of 1997