An Unwelcome Prediction
Amidst discussion about Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s proposed sinkhole rates, and more broadly about debt ceilings and credit ratings, a recent NOAA prediction did not receive much attention. With the recent demise of Tropical Storm Emily, we have now seen five named storms in the current hurricane season. In May, the NOAA predicted the season would involve 12-18 named storms. It now suggests there will be 14-19 storms. As far as hurricanes, the earlier prediction of 6-10 is now 7-10.
Unfortunately, the increased projections are a result of the atmosphere and the Atlantic Ocean being conducive for increased hurricane activity from August through October. Ocean waters continue to be warmer than average, and La Nina conditions reduce the wind shear that helps weaken storms. The NOAA also says the storms forming later in this hurricane season have the potential to be stronger than those forming thus far.
In Florida, we still think about the effects of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes. However, the NOAA points out that the current gap between hurricanes making U.S. landfall is the longest on record. We can only hope to extend this record as long as possible.