“If El Nino conditions develop for this year’s hurricane season, it would tend to increase levels of vertical wind shear and decrease levels of Atlantic hurricane activity,” Gray said in a press release.
El Nino — a pulse of warmer-than-usual water near the equatorial Pacific Ocean — tends to create winds that shear tropical systems apart before they can become hurricanes. La Nina, the opposite cycle of cooler water in the equatorial Pacific, tends to allow more hurricanes to form.
“Based on our latest forecast, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 54 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent,” Phil Klotzbach, lead forecaster of Gray’s team, said in the release. “We are calling for an average hurricane season this year – about as active as the average of the 1950-2000 seasons.”
The team will issue forecast updates on June 2, August 4, September 2 and October 1.
The hurrican season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and this is good news for those of us the live in “hurricane alley”. Any time that we have an “average” season it is good news. And anytime that El Nino is cooler than normal it is good news, let us hope that the updates stay prety musch the same.