Slightly below average! That’s the forecast for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season from Colorado State University.
Dr. Philip Klots-Back presented the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season from the national tropical weather conference in South Padre, Texas.
So what can we expect this hurricane season?
Well the experts say due to signals of El Nino – that is warmer water along the pacific – a slightly below average season is expected for the Atlantic basin.
The first forecast of the season calls for: 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes (that is category 3 or higher).
Current forecast models are aggressive for extremely warm waters in the Caribbean during July, along with most of the tropical basin this season. And while those conditions could fuel a more active season, El Nino signals have tamed the forecast. El Nino typically creates more wind shear and negative conditions to allow for tropical development.
According to Klots-Back, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in the forecast for the season. If El Nino does not continue through the summer, that could increase tropical activity toward the end of the season.
An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes.
In 2018, 15 named storms developed in the Atlantic ocean; eight were hurricanes and two were major hurricanes. 2017 saw an extremely deadly, hyperactive season. In fact, it was the costliest season on record with damages of 282 billion us dollars. An update to the Colorado State University predictions will be issued on June 4th. The annual hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.