- Category: Widget
- Published on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 16:28
- Written by Isaac
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El Niño Befriends Business
Staten Island commercial bank cites below-normal storm outlook
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Weather-sensitive businesses may be able to benefit from the relative calm projected for the traditionally stormiest remainder of this year.
Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, sides with enterprises planning for good showings in the two quarters that will wind down the year.
And where weather would be part of the planning process, the hurricane outlook is being described by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as below- or near-normal.
The main driver of this year’s outlook has been summer's El Niño. The phenomenon causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.
El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.
The outlook anticipates a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.
For the six-month hurricane season, which began June 1, NOAA predicted a 70 percent likelihood of eight to 13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which three to six could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to two major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These numbers are near or below the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, based on the average from 1981 to 2010. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
“Even though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season, it’s important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster,” said Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator.
Humberto was the first of only two Atlantic hurricanes in 2013. It reached peak intensity, with top winds of 90 mph, in the far eastern Atlantic.
Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said the Atlantic – which has seen above-normal seasons in 12 of the last 20 years – has been in an era of high activity for hurricanes since 1995. However, this high-activity pattern is expected to be offset in 2014 by the impacts of El Niño, and by cooler Atlantic Ocean temperatures than in recent years.
The expectation of near-average Atlantic Ocean temperatures this season, rather than the above-average temperatures seen since 1995, also suggests fewer Atlantic hurricanes, Bell said.
NOAA has some new tools at the National Hurricane Center this year. An experimental mapping tool will be used to show communities their storm surge flood threat. The map will be issued for coastal areas when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is first issued, or approximately 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
The map will show land areas where storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas.
Early testing on continued improvements to NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) shows a 10 percent improvement in this year's model compared to last year. Hurricane forecasters use the HWRF along with other models to produce forecasts and issue warnings.
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts are provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
"It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall to have disastrous impacts on our communities," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. "We need you to be ready. Know your risk for hurricanes and severe weather, take action now to be prepared and be an example for others in your office, school or community."
About Victory State Bank
VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online http://www.victorystatebank.com.