• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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Hurricane forecasters have upped their initial predictions for the 2019 Hurricane Season after El Niño, which developed last Fall has faded.

Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30% from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.

NOAA is now calling for 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes. As of August 10th, there have been 2 named storms in the Atlantic basin and 1 hurricane.

NOAA Updates the Hurricane Forecast for the 2019 Season

El Niño exists when the average sea surface temperature in the across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific Ocean is warmer than average, by at least 0.5C.

This warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean waters is often noted for keeping hurricane activity across the Atlantic Ocean at bay. The reason activity is less during El Niño is there is increased t-storm activity in the Pacific. This causes higher wind shear across the Atlantic Basin as well. Windshear has an impact on hurricane development, as it doesn’t allow the storms to grow vertically.

In La Niña (the opposite – meaning cooler waters) and ENSO-neutral years, tropical activity in the Atlantic tends to be above average. The 30-year average is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. In El Nino years, typically only 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2.5 major hurricanes occur.

The “updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared,” said Pete Gaynor, acting FEMA administrator. “We urge everyone to learn more about hurricane hazards and prepare now, ahead of time, so that if state and local authorities announce evacuations in advance of a storm, you and your family will have planned where to go and what to do to stay safe.”

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