Enough crazy weather already: You can expect an average or below-average hurricane season starting in June, national forecasters said Thursday.
In a radical year of weather -- from severe drought in California to brutal, will-it-ever-end winter across much of the U.S. -- only one or two major hurricanes are expected to appear in the Atlantic Ocean during the six-month period starting in June, according to the
The Atlantic has seen above-normal seasons over 12 of the last 20 years, and NOAA meteorologists said this year's forecast is a result of the calming effect the Pacific Ocean is expected to have on its typically more dangerous Atlantic cousin.
What that might mean is more rain for California and the Southern U.S. next year, higher global temperatures and a relatively placid hurricane season this year, due to the type of winds an El Niño brings to the Atlantic.
"The expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995, also suggests fewer Atlantic hurricanes," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with the Climate Prediction Center, in a statement.
There's a 50% chance the hurricane season will be below normal, 40% it will be normal, and a 10% chance the season will actually be more violent than usual.
But the forecasts could be wrong. After all, 2013 was expected to be an "active" hurricane season, but it turned out to be the weakest since 1994, with only two storms reaching Category 1 status, the weakest of the hurricane categories.