Tags: hurricane | bertha | below-normal | atlantic | storms | season

Hurricane Bertha Slips Into Below-Normal Atlantic Storms Season

Image: Hurricane Bertha Slips Into Below-Normal Atlantic Storms Season
Weather system travels north and east in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the United States pictured August 6, 2014. (NOAA via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 08 Aug 2014 08:33 AM

Hurricane Bertha, downgraded to a tropical storm and now moving away from the eastern U.S. coast, highlights below-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, according to information released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Thursday.

Most of the hurricane action appears to be happening in the Pacific Ocean. Downgraded Hurricane Iselle hit Hawaii as a tropical storm on Friday, with Hurricane Julio, a more dangerous Category 3 storm, expected to slam into the island state over the weekend.

NOAA said Thursday that its forecasters are now predicting a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, with only a five percent chance of an above-normal season. In May, forecasters predicted there would be a 50 percent chance of a below-normal hurricane season, noted NOAA.

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"We are more confident that a below-normal season will occur because atmospheric and oceanic conditions that suppress cyclone formation have developed and will persist through the season," said Gerry Bell, the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster.

"Nonetheless, tropical storms and hurricanes can strike the U.S. during below-normal seasons, as we have already seen this year when Arthur made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. We urge everyone to remain prepared and be on alert throughout the season," said Bell.

Arthur and Bertha are the only named storms in the Atlantic this season. NOAA forecasters said there could be as many as seven to 12 named storms with three to six reaching hurricane strength, which is sustained winds above 74 miles per hour. The NOAA said two could become major hurricanes with winds above 111 miles per hour.

Bertha continued to move east on Friday and could threaten Great Britain and France sometime next week, according to The Independent.

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Hurricane Bertha, downgraded to a tropical storm and now moving away from the eastern U.S. coast, highlights below-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, according to information released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Thursday.
hurricane, bertha, below-normal, atlantic, storms, season
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2014-33-08
Friday, 08 Aug 2014 08:33 AM
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