And here we thought last year’s hurricane season was terrible, but a fluke that would never happen again. Turns out that was only the beginning of our new weather-related reality.
CNN reports that we’ll just as many, if not more, strong tropical storms and hurricanes this season. This comes from two separate reports who are leaders in detecting this stuff.
However, will this season be just as bad as last year? I certainly hope not because Harvey, Irma, and Maria are now among the top 5 most costly hurricanes in history. Poor Puerto Rico is still recovering! Heck, they still don’t have 100% of their power restored yet.
Colorado State University laid out its predictions for hurricane season and said an elevated number of named storms will form between June and November. North Carolina State, who issued their report this week thanks to Darien Daily Voice, backs up what’s already been said.
While Colorado expects 14 named storms to roar to life, North Carolina says the number could reach 18.
Meanwhile, The Weather Company, which is an independent IBM business, released their officials predictions for the year, which favor the lower side. They say we’ll only see about 13 named storms develop this year.
However, named storms are one thing… strong storms are another.
Based on Colorado’s findings, we are in store for 7 hurricanes with three of them reaching category 3 status or worse. They also predicted that the chances of a category 3+ storm hitting the East Coast stands at 63 percent.
Meanwhile, North Carolina did not release those numbers, but had this warning:
“[There will be] a slightly above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.”
Thankfully, this year looks quieter than 2017, who saw 17 storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. Unfortunately, that’s not news worthy of celebrating if you compare this year with seasonal averages.
This year’s projected average trumps the Atlantic Basin’s 30-year historical average. Between 1981 and 2010, we saw about 12 named storms a year and six hurricanes.
Also, just because we may see less storms doesn’t mean we’ll see less damage. If those three expected storms take the same path as Harvey, Irma, and Maria… well, that’ll just plain suck.
And that could actually happen due to shifting weather patterns and currents.
The increase in storms is all thanks to a smaller possibility of a week La Niña developing later this summer. While El Niño creates warmer waters, which stimulates stronger hurricanes, La Niña brings cooler waters.
But, as I said earlier, she looks very weak this year. So she might not do enough to cut down on those super storms.
On top of that, weather forecasters say we’ll transition into a neutral phase of El Niño-Southern Oscillation from now until the summer. So, the waters might just become the perfect breeding ground for these nasty storms.
Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, explains why this season looks just as active:
“Last season had near-record warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. As of now, I don’t see anything in the immediate future that would cause sea surface temperatures to warm up dramatically. However, there is certainly still time for this to occur, which is one of the biggest challenges with issuing forecasts this early.”
Meaning, the forecast could change since peak hurricane season hits around mid-August. But, the season technically starts on June 1st. Once a hurricane makes landfall, it marks the official start of the season.
But, only time will tell if these predictions are true. Although the season started as of June 1st, it runs through November 30th. So, we have ways to go to see if these reports hit the nail on the head.
Both Colorado State University and the NOAA will issue their final hurricane season outlooks on May 31st.
Either way, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on the necessities so you have them just in case. No one wants to wrestle an old lady over a pack of batteries in the middle of Wal-Mart after weather forecasters promise fire and brimstone to fall from the skies.
We kinda saw that happen with that spate of nor’easters. Not a good look for us.