As part of National Hurricane Preparedness Week activities, NOAA has released its seasonal forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season today.  The forecast shows that they are expecting fewer tropical storms and hurricanes this year than usual. primarily due to the effect of El Nino.  In El Nino years, development of storms is often curtailed due to a strong subtropical jet stream, which effectively blows the top off of developing storm systems and keeps them from growing.

They are also providing some new tools this year on storm surge which will be useful if you live along the coast.  You can read the story at

Remember, though, that it only takes one storm to cause tremendous damage even in an El Nino year.  Hurricane Andrew in 1992 occurred in an El Nino year.  Rainfall from weak systems can cause massive flooding, such as Tropical Storm Alberto in 1994 in Georgia.  And the effects of storms can be felt far from the coast as winds and rains can occur far away from the center of the storm.

noaa hurricane outlook 2015