Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) has published an updated and lowered quantitative forecast for the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season citing the likely development of moderate El Niño (ENSO) conditions.
TSR was one of the first forecasters to provide an early outlook for the 2014 hurricane season back in December when it forecast 14 named tropical storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major (Category 3+) hurricanes between the months of June and November in 2014.
With the update published yesterday, TSR’s Professor Mark Saunders and Dr. Adam Lea have reduced their forecast to 12 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major (Category 3+) hurricanes, which is around 25% below the 1950-2013 norm and 40% below the more recent 2004-2013 norm.
The forecasters cite two factors as leading the forecasters to believe that 2014 will be a below-average year for Atlantic hurricane formation.
Firstly, computer models now indicate that trade winds over the Caribbean and tropical North Atlantic will be a little weaker than normal from July through September. The likely formation of moderate El Niño conditions will coincide with these lighter trade winds in August and September, according to analysis of long-range dynamical and statistical models.
Secondly, the sea surface temperatures of the area of the tropical Atlantic responsible for most tropical storm and hurricane development is forecast to be cooler than normal due to El Niño in August and September.
TSR gives these two factors forecast-skill levels of 23% and 30% respectively and say that there is still a lot of uncertainty around them both.
The number of meteorologists forecasting the development of El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean this summer are growing. El Niño typically results in a below average hurricane season in terms of the number of storms that form, however that is no guarantee of a benign season in terms of catastrophic losses as that is down to the strength or severity and path of any storms that do form.
We would expect to see more forecasts for the 2014 tropical storm season emerging around the beginning of May.
You can 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.