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Prediction says fewer hurricanes

Jun 27, 2019

Courtesy NOAA

Andrea, Barry and Chantal are just three of the names to be given to Atlantic hurricanes this year by NOAA, which in April released the full list of names that will be used in 2019. According to predictions by scientists in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, which releases its hurricane season predictions every year, the 2019 hurricane season “will have slightly below-normal activity.”

The atmospheric scientists suggested that “the current weak El Nino event appears likely to persist and perhaps even strengthen this summer/fall. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are slightly below normal, and the far North Atlantic is anomalously cool.” This effect of El Nino is important because one result of cooler sea surface temperatures is less favorable conditions for hurricane formation, since these powerful storms take advantage of evaporation of water from the ocean to get started and to sustain their energy.

The study predicts that there will be 13 named storms in the 2019 season, five of which are expected to become hurricanes. The average number of hurricanes in a season, based on data from 1981 to 2010, is 6.4. So, if this season holds to that number, there will be 1.4 fewer hurricanes in the North Atlantic from June to November.

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