Hurricane season begins tomorrow and it is expected to be busy.
Tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes in the United States, develop around the globe at different times of the year. In this country, we are most affected by the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. Peak activity, however, is usually from August to October when sea-surface temperatures are warmer.
Last year was an extremely active season with nineteen named storms – the third consecutive year with that number. Four of these made landfall in the US: Beryl, Debby, Isaac, and Sandy.
This year, NOAA is predicting another above average season. Some of the main climate factors of this energetic forecast include warmer than average Atlantic ocean temperatures – which fuel hurricanes – and a currently neutral El Nino-Southern Oscillation pattern in the Pacific. When the El Nino aspect of this oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon is present, it produces upper level winds that can limit the development of Atlantic cyclones. The neutral phase of this pattern, however, allows for a more favorable environment for storms to develop.