Today NOAA announced their prediction for the upcoming 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, calling for an average hurricane season.
Here’s the breakdown:
• 70% Chance of having 9-12 named storms
• 4-7 Hurricanes
• 1-3 Major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5)
In an average year there are 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. Conflicting climate factors are shaping this years hurricane season, making it more difficult than usual to determine whether we will have an above or below average season. One such factor is whether or not an El Nino develops in the equatorial Pacific. This would yield a below average season. At the present time we are neither in a La Nina or a El Nino phase. The other factor is that we are currently in the midst of a high activity era that began in 1995.
• On the average the coastal areas of the northeast get hit with a hurricane once every 10 years or so.
• Hurricanes remembered here in the Twin Tiers are Hazel (1954), Diane (1955), Connie (1955), Agnes (1972), and Ivan (2004).
• Highest winds with a hurricane occurred with Hazel. Sustained winds of 72mph were recorded at the Binghamton Airport, and gusts to 100mph were recorded across upstate New York.
• Connie and Diane were remembered for their rainfall. Connie dropped 12 inches on August 13th, and Diane dumped 10-20 inches of rain in southern Pennsylvania on August 18th.
• Agnes was remembered for excessive rainfall as well. The storm stalled over the area, bringing widespread 8 inch rainfall amounts. Some locations received up to 16 inches from June 20-23.