The Atlantic is likely to see fewer named storms and hurricanes in 2014 -- and possibly no major hurricanes -- reports NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
There's a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and just a 5 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, which runs through October.
"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, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
“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.”
Fewer tropical systems are expected to brew off the African coast, reports NOAA, and the ones that do are less likely to turn into hurricanes.
On average, the Atlantic would see 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes (wind speeds of 111 mph or more). But this year NOAA is predicting seven to 12 named storms, three to six hurricanes, and zero to two major hurricanes.
The count includes the two Atlantic hurricanes that have formed so far this year, Arthur and Bertha.