FILE PHOTO. Hurricane Sandy.
Atlantic Canada will likely feel the effects of at least one named storm.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is predicting a slightly blow average hurricane season in the Atlantic this year.
The centre held a recent conference call for the media where the message was, once again, to emphasize the need to be prepared.
Bob Robichaud, meteorologist with Environment Canada, said according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. there will be between eight and 13 named storms this season, down from 14 last year.
Forecasters begin to pay close attention to any weather system that churns with a name attached to it.
FACT BOX - Windy list
Following is the list of names that will be given to hurricanes in the Atlantic this year:
- Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.
Three to six of those named storms are expected to turn into hurricane-force storms and one or two of those reaching major hurricane status where wind speeds of 178 kilometres an hour or higher and are rated as Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of hurricane intensity.
Robichaud said it’s impossible to guess whether any of these storms will impact Atlantic Canada or when they might hit.
“We can’t pinpoint where these things will hit,’’ Robichaud said. “They (NOAA) don’t really specify where these storms are going to go, which is another reason to be especially prepared.’’
The words ‘Be prepared’ have taken on new meaning ever since hurricane Juan slammed into the Maritimes in 2003, although it had weakened to tropical storm strength by the time it hit P.E.I.
Last year, two named storms — Gabrielle and Andrea — had an affect on Atlantic Canada although the worst came with Andrea in the form of 100 millimetres of rain for parts of the region.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The main reason for the below average season is the expected development of El Nino in the eastern Pacific Ocean and a cooler patch of water in the Atlantic Ocean, both of which decrease the likelihood of strong Atlantic hurricanes.
Robichaud said on average Atlantic Canada will feel the effects of at least one of those named storms.
Regardless of the number, Robichaud said being prepared is key.
“It only takes that one storm to make it a bad year,’’ he said.