Atlantic Basin Braces for Above-Normal Hurricane Season, NOAA Predicts 17-25 Storms

Atlantic Basin Braces for Above-Normal Hurricane Season, NOAA Predicts 17-25 Storms

The National Weather Service in the United States has sound the alarm to those in the Atlantic Basin to prepare for an above-normal hurricane season.  The season is set to begin on June 1, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is an eighty five percent chance of an above normal season.  The center is predicting that the season will see seventeen to twenty five named storms of 39 miles per hour winds or higher.  Of this amount, eight to thirteen of them are predicted to become hurricanes with four to seven of them being major storms of a category three or higher.  NOAA cites several factors contributing to its prediction, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.  Echoing the predictions was former Chief MET Officer, Ramon Frutos.

Ramon Frutos, Former Chief Met Officer: “This year, we are in a what you call a La Nina phase of the ENSO. The ENSO is the warming of the Pacific Ocean. And so what happens there now, we are going into a cool phase of ENSO this year. And that then indicates that conditions for the hurricane season will become much more favorable and that’s what the historical records show. And the climatology shows that when we’re in a cold phase of El Nino southern oscillation then hurricane conditions are favorable, or become more favorable in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. So we can expect an above-normal hurricane season this year. And with the added energy into the atmosphere because of the drought conditions we’re experiencing this dry season then that adds fuel to the atmosphere for storms to form. Now what we need now is some moisture and that’s what’s lacking. So we got to wait and see what happens as we go from May into June, June into July at least the first half of the hurricane season, to see how the moisture conditions will be to trigger a storm or two in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. So what we need then, we need that trigger effect, an area of disturbed weather, moisture, and we already have the heat, the energy in the atmosphere to produce storms. So definitely this year could be an active hurricane season maybe not in the first part of the hurricane season but later on in the later part or second half of the hurricane season.”

NOAA further notes that there is also a prediction for an above-normal West African monsoon, producing easterly waves, a key ingredient for some of the strongest and longer-lived storms in the Atlantic Basin.  As part of its tools in monitoring storms, NOAA announced that in June, dozens of observational underwater gliders are planned to deploy in waters off the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. coast. The Climate Prediction Center at NOAA says it will update its outlook of the 2024 hurricane season in August, just prior to what has been noted as the historical peak of the season.

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