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El Niño forecast to produce less active hurricane season in 2014


ImpactWeather has released its first 2014 Atlantic hurricane season forecast today and says that it expects the development of an El Niño by July or August to produce a less active hurricane season, with a below average number of storms forming.

The firms 2014 Seasonal Outlook for Atlantic Hurricanes factors in a developing El Niño influence to produce a less active than normal hurricane season this year.

An increasing number of meteorologists are forecasting the development of El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean within a few months. El Niño typically results in a below average hurricane season in terms of the number of storms that form.

Based on averages of past seasons, ocean temperature trends and elevated wind shear across the Tropical Atlantic, ImpactWeather Senior Meteorologists Fred Schmude and Chris Hebert forecast the development of 10 named storms, with 4 achieving hurricane status and 1 reaching severe hurricane status of Category 3, 4 or 5.

Of course recent Atlantic hurricane seasons have shown that the number of storms that form is not the main threat. We’ve seen record seasons for tropical storm formation with little in the way of landfalls to create loss events. Conversely some hurricane seasons in the late 90’s and early 00’s saw lower numbers of storms but multiple landfalls resulting in heavy insurance and reinsurance losses.

“We advise our clients not to focus on the number of storms that may potentially make landfall, but rather the chance that one could be the hurricane — the storm that causes widespread damage and disrupts their business for days or weeks,” states Mark Chambers, president of ImpactWeather. “Many along the Gulf Coast remember Hurricanes Alicia and Andrew. Those storms were catastrophic to the Houston and Miami areas, and came during seasons that were otherwise considered quiet.”

It is still early for forecasting the 2014 hurricane season. Most of the forecasts will be due around the beginning of May.

You will be able to track the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, compare forecasts and monitor the progress of storms here on Artemis. Visit and bookmark our 2014 Atlantic hurricane season page.

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