Just Your Average Hurricane Season

Just Your Average Hurricane Season

Hurricane Patricia, 2015 Hurricane Patricia, 2015

April 18, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) A near-average hurricane season is forecast for 2016.
            
Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, both highly regarded experts for hurricane forecasting, predict 12 named storms this year. They predict five of them will become hurricanes, with two becoming major hurricanes.

There are two major players in this year’s forecast: a weakening El Niño and cold North Atlantic waters. “We’re predicting an average hurricane season based on two primary factors,” explains Dr. Klotzbach. ”We won’t have El Niño this year like we had last year. El Niño is warmer than normal waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. What that does is it tends to increase upper level winds that tear up our storms in the Atlantic. We think this year we're probably going to have even more – and actually have a La Niña, which is cooler than normal waters in the tropical Pacific, which means less sheer, less winds tearing apart the storms in the Atlantic.”

Klotzbach continues: “However, the Atlantic isn’t looking particularly conducive for hurricane formation right now. The far North Atlantic is very cold. There is cooler water moving in towards the tropical Atlantic – we think maybe some higher pressures, drier mid-levels in the atmosphere – basically just conditions that are less conducive for hurricane formation. So at this point we think that La Niña being on the plus side for the hurricanes and the Atlantic being on the negative side for hurricane development, those tend to cancel each other out and we wind up with an average hurricane season. But obviously given that this is April and the hurricane season doesn’t really get going until August, there's a lot of uncertainty with these particular forecasts."

Hurricane season officially starts June 1st.

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