Don't look now, but the 2015 Hurricane Season kicks off on Monday. That's the bad news. The kind of good news: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a below-normal hurricane season this year.
NOAA's prediction, released on Wednesday, says that there's a 70 percent chance of 6 to 11 named storms breaking out this season — which runs from June 1 to November 30. Three to six of those storms could become hurricanes, NOAA says. And up to two (or none) could become major hurricanes.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean we won't get slammed by a hurricane this year. It does, however, mean, the chances are lower than usual. Back in 1992, a relatively slow hurricane season gave the world just seven named storms. One of those hurricanes hit South Florida. You might remember it as Andrew.
So, grains of salt and all that with this news.
“A below-normal season doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. As we’ve seen before, below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impacts to communities,” NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, says.
"It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall in your community to significantly disrupt your life,” added FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich. “Everyone should take action now to prepare themselves and their families for hurricanes and powerful storms. Develop a family communications plan, build an emergency supply kit for your home, and take time to learn evacuation routes for your area. Knowing what to do ahead of time can literally save your life and help you bounce back stronger and faster should disaster strike in your area."
As it was last year, the main reason the 2015 Hurricane Season is expected to be slow is due to storm-killing El Nino, which wreaks havoc on wind and pressure patterns that ultimately fuel storm formations. El Nino is expected to get even stronger during the peak months of the season, NOAA says, which means normal Atlantic waters, another key ingredient to hurricane fuel.
The peak months usually begin around August, which is when NOAA is expected to release an updated outlook for the hurricane season.