New Hurricane Forecast Released: Prediction ‘Up Significantly’
The hurricane seasonal forecast from Colorado State University (CSU) was updated Wednesday, calling for more named storms and hurricanes than previously forecast.
The update calls for a total of 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes for the Atlantic Basin. This is above the average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes that a ‘typical’ season brings. Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a well-respected meteorologist at CSU who has spearheaded the seasonal forecast since the passing of Dr. Bill Gray, says this new forecast is up significantly from the original released in April.
The reason for the busier forecast? There are a few factors that Dr. Klotzbach lists. When the original forecast came out in April it was unclear how strong El Niño would be. El Niño is the term used for warmer than average water temperatures across the central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean. When this happens, it usually affects the tropical activity in the Atlantic by decreasing the amount of tropical systems during the season. However now the long-range weather models are backing off in their original prediction of a stronger El Niño, instead pointing to a weak El Niño or none at all.
Another reason is that the water temperatures across the Atlantic have warmed more than expected so far this year. This tends to create lower pressure, more unstable weather conditions, and allows more heat content and ‘fuel’ for tropical systems once formed. Lastly, the subtropical regions of the Atlantic appear to be a bit warmer than average as well. In 2013 the subtropical regions were cooler and drier with more wind shear, helping to decrease tropical activity. Dr. Klotzbach points to the opposite conditions observed there so far this year.
Predicting where hurricanes go is always the toughest part, especially weeks to months in advance. While this updated forecast includes the amount of hurricanes, it does not say where they will travel. That’s where you step in to keep tabs on these storms once they form. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!
The 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes now predicted this year does include the 3 named storms we have already had in the Atlantic. Dr. Klotzbach points out a good statistic that 93-94% of major hurricanes in the Atlantic occur after August 1. So if August rolls around and it seems quiet to you, don’t let your guard down! Always be prepared because it only takes one storm.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier