Atlantic hurricane season looks to finish up slower than normal

Cbus Weather Nerd

NOAA officially lowered its official forecast today for hurricanes for the rest of the season in the Atlantic Basin.  

The latest forecast calls for a slightly below normal forecast for the entire season.

  • 60% chance of below normal storms
  • 30% chance of normal amount of storms
  • 10% chance of above normal activity 

This is a drop from the May forecast which only had a 25% chance of below normal activity, 40% chance of normal, and 35% chance of above normal activity.

Factors lowering hurricane forecast for the season

One of the big drivers of the forecast is the longer range climate.  The Climate Prediction Center at NOAA has now upped the chance of an El Nino forming before hurricane season ends at 70%, or a fairly safe bet.

Atlantic Hurricanes do not do well during El Nino events, while Eastern Pacific activity increases.  The main reasoning is wind shear.  It is the cross winds that a storm might encounter at different elevations. 

When it comes to hurricanes, they enjoy being the only show in town with little to no wind shear aloft cutting up into the storm.  Think more shear = less storm.

Also, hurricanes like warm waters, not only at the surface, but sub-surface as well.  So far this season the sea surface temps in the Atlantic basin have been running below normal.  Also a good thing if you don’t want hurricanes.

Another thing in the short term that has helped, has been the fact that we have had active periods of Saharan Dust off the African coast over the Atlantic Ocean.

The forecast looking up, but don’t get excited yet

The official forecast for the Atlantic basin calls for 9-13 named storms, so far we have had 4, so another 5-9 are expected.  This would put us slightly below the normal of 12.

As far as hurricanes, the forecast is for 4-7, with 2 in the books already, this gives us another 2-5 hurricanes.  The normal for any year is 6.

Major hurricanes are expected at 0-2, with the average for any season at 3.

One thing to keep in mind, is the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season is still about 4 weeks away, so we historically see activity starting to ramp up soon.

Also, one main thing that anyone along the coast will tell you, it only takes 1 storm.  You can have a quiet season, with one storm that hits the wrong way, and it could have horrible consequences.

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through November 30th, but storms can occur outside this window as well.  Bottom line, we will continue to monitor and keep our fingers crossed for our friends along the coast.

Even in Ohio… impacts can be felt

Remember the start of September last year?  We had temps in the 60s for high with cold rain showers from a remnant system?

Remember in 2017 Hurricane Harvey?  Read more here

Or remember the first storm of this season, Alberto?  Read more here

Typically these inland systems bring gusty winds, and heavy rainfall.  In the case of Harvey, we also had abnormally cool temps.  Highs on the 1st/2nd of September were only 62 and 61, while we picked up nearly 2+ inches of rainfall.

If you ever have questions about hurricanes, climate, el nino, or any other weather, email me, dmazza@wcmh.com

-Dave  

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