Buffalo, NY -- It's hard to believe the summer is coming to a close. Now that we're in September it also means we're halfway done with the Atlantic Hurricane Season. There's been some activity in the tropics but so far the United States hasn't had any hurricanes hit and only one tropical storm made landfall.
The NWS and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are both branches of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA has a team of meteorologists and scientists dedicated to protecting and serving the people of the United States.
"We are always on the look out for a possible threat," Shawn Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Buffalo, said.
A latest threat is a hurricane making landfall over the United States (US). We are halfway through the hurricane season and so far only one tropical storm, Andrea, has made US landfall out of six tropical storms. "The first one Andrea... made landfall in the Florida panhandle," Smith said.
The reason the United States has only had one landfall so far in what was predicted to be an active hurricane season is because the weather patterns have been steering the tropical storms away from the mainland. "Have seen a lot of frontal passages come down which has either dissipated storms as they came close to the mainland or re-curve them back out into the ocean," Smith explained.
September is the peak of the hurricane season and forecasters are expecting the tropical activity to pick up. "We are looking for another 7 to 13 named storms," Smith said. "We haven't seen any hurricanes yet and we are looking for 6 to 9."
An active season doesn't necessarily mean an increase in hurricanes making landfall in the United States but forecasters are keeping a close eye on the tropics especially since right now there are three areas being watched for possible tropical storm development. "Every day we continue to monitor the situation especially during an active season which we are still expecting." Smith said.
Fortunately in early August, the NHC lowered the hurricane outlook to 13 to 19 named storms, with 6 to 9 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes. The previous outlook from May was 13 to 20 named storms, with 7 to 11 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes.
The updated outlook is still an above average active season. The 30 year seasonal average is 12 named storms a year with 6 being hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.