Forecasters: 2010 to bring 'busy' hurricane season

By Andrew Freiden - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The National Hurricane Center seasonal forecast is out for the season which starts on Tuesday.  The forecasters there are looking at a busy season:

- 14 to 23 Named Storms (11 is average)

- 8 to 14 Hurricanes (6 is average)

- 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (2 is average)

There are three reasons why it will likely be an active year.

  • Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated.
  • Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures – up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average – are now present in this region.
  • High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.

Watch for our weather special Tuesday at 4:30.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.