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Calmer hurricane season is still a threat

The odds of a quieter Atlantic hurricane season are even greater now, but that does not mean New Jersey is immune to disastrous storms.

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As forecasters with National Ocean Atmospheric Administration noted, just one bad storm is needed to wreak havoc on a region.

Getty Images / NASA

An updated outlook from NOAA, released Thursday, called for a 70 percent chance of a below-normal hurricane season, compared to the initial outlook of 50 percent.

Dr. Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead season hurricane forecaster, said a wide variety of atmospheric and ocean conditions are pointing to a less active season through November. Ocean temperatures are colder than average, and wind shear is at record strength.

“Hurricanes simply cannot form in an area of strong shear,” Bell said. “If they move into an area of strong shear, they get ripped apart.”

Still, a total of seven to 12 named storms are expected, three to six of which can turn into hurricanes. The predictions include the two hurricanes that have already formed and passed.

Despite the prediction of a below-normal season, Bell said, the threat isn’t over for the Atlantic coast. Serving as proof, Hurricane Arthur made landfall in North Carolina, packing 100 mph winds, on July 3.

“The peak of the hurricane season, which is by far when the bulk of hurricanes occur, is during August, September and October,” Bell added. “We’re just getting into the peak of the hurricane season right now.”

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