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NOAA satellite handout image captured Hurricane Florence in Sept. 2018. Photo: Handout/Getty Images

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 40% chance for a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season — June 1 to November 30, 2019 — determining a 70% likelihood of 9-15 named storms, of which 4-8 could become hurricanes.

The backdrop: This year's outlook comes after 2018's devastating season, with Cat. 5 Hurricane Michael hitting the Florida Panhandle. The average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 progress to hurricanes status and 3 turn into major hurricanes.

Details: The 2019 outlook reflects climate factors including El Niño — anticipated to continue and El Niño tends to increase wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, which can inhibit tropical storm and hurricane formation. Offsetting El Niño is a combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and a heightened west African monsoon, increasing the potential for hurricane activity.

NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins.

  • A 70% chance of an above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions.
  • The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 15-22 named storms, of which 8 to 13 are expected to become hurricanes.
  • The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 5-8 tropical cyclones, including tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Driving the news: This season marks the addition of NOAA’s Earth-observing satellites, expected to enhance the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions in real time.

Go deeper: The Atlantic Basins tropical storms and hurricanes in 2019

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.