El Nino

NOAA

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is officially in the books, ending up with below average activity. But officials are reminding coastal residents not to let down their guard.

After numerous predictions had already been made, including from William Gray and his team at Colorado State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weighed in. It predicted 8-13 named storms; 3-6 hurricanes and of those, 1-2 major storms.

NOAA

Forecasters predict a warming of the central Pacific Ocean known as “El Nino” will provide a break for weather-weary Americans this year.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration issued an official El Nino watch Thursday. In a typical El Nino year, there’s a stronger flow of wind at the Jet Stream level, and a stronger Jet Stream over the southern U.S.

Jeff Garmon, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says that can increase the potential for severe storms: tornados, severe thunderstorms, squall lines, things of that nature.