Hurricane Season Could Bring 12 to 17 Named Storms, Forecasters Say

Forecasters say there could be 12 to 17 named tropical storms in the Atlantic this hurricane season, about the same number of named storms as last year and “near normal” amounts.

However, there is uncertainty in the outlook released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday, due to the unknown impact of competing weather patterns. Hurricanes are named when they have sustained winds of 39 mph or greater.

NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said A news conference on Thursday morning Forecasters believed that five to nine of the named storms could become hurricanes, meaning they would reach winds of at least 74 mph, including one to four major hurricanes. Can — Category 3 or higher — winds of at least 111 mph

According to NOAA, there is a 40 percent chance of normal weather and a 30 percent chance of above-normal weather, but there is also a 30 percent chance of below-normal weather. An average Atlantic hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Fewer named storms are expected than this year. 2020 And 2021, active climates that eliminate the names given to tropical systems. Less active weather is expected primarily due to a developing El Niño, a periodic weather pattern often associated with increased wind shear, or changes in wind speed and direction from ocean or land surfaces to the atmosphere in the Atlantic Ocean. Reduces the formation of hurricanes. Hurricanes require a calm environment to form, and the instability caused by increased wind shear makes these conditions less likely.

El Nino could form over the next few months, with most of its impact occurring during the central months of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from early June to late November and peaks in September.

A wild card this year is a combination of favorable conditions created by warmer-than-average Atlantic surface temperatures, which can fuel hurricanes, and the possibility of an above-normal West African monsoon. The monsoon season produces storm activity that gives rise to some of the more powerful and long-lived Atlantic storms.

“It’s a very rare condition to have both of those at the same time,” said Matthew Rosencrans, a hurricane season forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

There is no significant historical context for the hurricane season with favorable conditions in the Atlantic Ocean and the simultaneous development of El Niño.. “I’ve only seen it once,” he said, “and there are still hurricanes.”

Phil Klotzbach, a researcher at Colorado State University who studies hurricanes, believes warmer-than-average ocean temperatures could moderate the general effects of El Nino, even as he expects “we’ll see some You’ll see vertical wind shear at the range. How strong is the possibility of El Niño.”

Weather researchers, including Mr. Klotzbach, are pioneers in hurricane season forecasting, and issued their first forecasts in April. They then predicted that it would be slightly below average with ’13. Named storm in the Atlantic Ocean. of the team Latest forecast It will be released on June 1.

“Remember, it only takes one storm to destroy a community,” Mr. Spinrad said, adding that regardless of statistics predicting less active weather, “if these storms One of them is hitting your home or your community, so it’s very dangerous. Serious.”

Although last year was predicted to have above-average weather, it fell through. With 14 named storms – being a near-average season – just like the forecast for this season. Three of them made landfall as hurricanes, Including Ianwhich is the fifth strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States.

Even in average or below-average years, there is a chance that a powerful storm will make landfall.

In a warming world, this opportunity increases. There is a solid consensus among scientists that Hurricanes are getting stronger. due to climate change. Although there may be no more named storms overall, the potential for major hurricanes to form is increasing.

Climate change is also affecting the amount of rain that storms can produce. In a warming world, the air can hold more moisture, which means a named storm can stop, and produce more rain. Hurricane Harvey Texas did in 2017, when some areas received more than 40 inches of rain in less than 48 hours.

Researchers have also found that the speed of storms has decreased over the past few decades.

When a storm lowers over water, it can absorb more moisture. As the storm recedes over land, it can drop more rain in the same spot, as was the case. Hurricane Dorian In 2019, Joe slowed to a crawl over the northwestern Bahamas, resulting in 22.84 inches of rain in Hopetown.

Research suggests that climate change may have other effects on these storms, including increased storm surges. Rapid intensification and wider reach of tropical systems.

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