America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted a below average pacific hurricane season, with an outlook that calls for a 70% probability of a below average season.
Nevertheless, the NOAA is quick to remind residents of the Pacific Coast to be prepared for whatever the 2011 hurricane season throws at them.
Taking into account the uncertainties of forecasts such as these, the predictions call for a 70 percent chance of 9 to 15 named storms, including 5 to 8 hurricanes, of which 1 to 3 are expected to become major hurricanes of Category 3 and up on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Overall, there is only a 5 percent chance that the 2011 season will end with an above average season, and only a 25 percent chance of a near normal season. A normal season consists of 15 to 16 named storms, including 8 to 9 hurricanes, and four becoming major hurricanes.
The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through to November 30, peaking through July to September.
“Regardless of this outlook, NOAA urges people in the Eastern Pacific to prepare for the 2011 hurricane season and remain vigilant throughout the season – it only takes one hurricane to cause a lot of damage and loss of life,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, part of the U.S. National Weather Service.
Note that this is a separate series of predictions to the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season.