Hurricane season forecast is already looking grim: Here’s why hot oceans, La Niña matter

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Hurricane season forecast is already looking grim: Here’s why hot oceans, La Niña matter:-With three months to go until the Atlantic hurricane season starts, the chances of a La Niǹa by summer are rising. This is bad news for people who are still recovering from storms that hit the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast in recent years..

Hurricane season forecast is already looking grim: Here’s why hot oceans, La Niña matter

David Zierden, a climatologist at Florida State University, said, “We may have very warm sea surface temperatures, especially in the main hurricane development region, and there is a chance that La Niṉa will be in place.””That’s bad news for hurricane season.””

La Niǹa is a pattern of cooler water along the equator in the Pacific Ocean. It usually makes storm seasons busier.It tends to lower the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, which lets tropical storms build the high clouds that can give them extra power..

At the same time, the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature is already higher than usual and warmer than it was this time last year. According to the most current data from the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer, the world’s ocean surface temperatures hit a new record high of 21.13 degrees Celsius, which is just over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a little warmer than the record of 21.1 degrees set in April and August of last year.

What’s the forecast for La Niña?

Meteorologist Jason Dunion of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Research Division said that there are signs of a change from the strong El Niṉo that has been going on in the Pacific for the past year..

The bright bands of dark orange on sea surface temperature images that show that the waters along the equator are warmer than usual because of El Niṉo are quickly going away..

The El Ninño Southern Oscillation is the name of the whole cycle of El Ninño and La Ninña. Its three stages can change the weather all over the world.It’s still not clear if the wobble will change to neutral this summer or to a La Niǹa.een.

According to the most recent prediction, there are 75% or more chances that a La Niǹa will happen by the middle of storm season.Because of this, he thinks that the yearly predictions from NOAA and Colorado State University will lead to a very busy season..

However, the oscillation is not the only important thing that makes storms happen. Warm water is very important.

Hurricane season forecast is already looking grim: Here's why hot oceans, La Niña matter
Hurricane season forecast is already looking grim: Here’s why hot oceans, La Niña matter


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Warm water – nature’s hurricane fuel

Hui Li, a project scientist at the University Corporate for Atmospheric Research, said that warm water “can provide more fuel for storms, which could lead to a higher number of storms and possibly stronger storms.”

Dunion said that seasonal forecasters are keeping a close eye on the Eastern Atlantic. Right now, sea surface temperatures off the coast of Africa are 1, 2, and even 3 degrees Celsius higher than average in this area. “And it’s not even spring yet.”

More than half of the tropical systems that form each year come from that “hurricane nursery,” and Dunion said that 80% to 85% of the major storms do too. We call it “a really important place.”

Dunion said that storms could get a boost from both sides as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. This is because it is warmer in the east and less windy in the west.

Zierden said that other things that can change hurricane season, like rain and dust storms off of western Africa, don’t show up until later in the summer.

It is “still early for making seasonal outlooks, and numerous uncertainties exist,” Li stated. “When the change from El Niño to La Nin±a happens will probably be very important.””

Zierden said that for tropical systems to form, the sea surface must be warm, the air must be wet, and there must be little wind shear. Conditions have to be just right for a Category 4 or 5 storm to happen, but that doesn’t always happen.

Besides that, he said, knowing how many storms are expected doesn’t tell anyone which areas are most likely to be hit by them.

What happened during the 2023 hurricane season?

In the end, the National Hurricane Centre said this season had the fourth most named tropical storms since 1950. There were seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, which is about the average amount seen each year.

Last year, Idalia was the only storm to hit land on the U.S. mainland. It caused a lot of damage in North Florida after making an unusual landfall just south of the state’s Big Bend area. It even threw small groups of flamingos across the eastern U.S.

Many times, El Niṉo has the biggest effect in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. This is because the winds there are stronger and can tear apart storms’ high cloud structures, according to Dunion.It was much warmer than usual at sea level in the eastern Atlantic last year, though..

If El Nino hadn’t happened, might there have been even more storms this season?Does the warm water on the top of the ocean push El Nino away?o?

Several experts are interested in the factors that are at odds with each other, Dunion said. “There are still a lot of studies going on, and a lot of speculation.”

What to remember about hurricane season

An old TV meteorologist and adjunct professor at the University of South Alabama named Alan Sealls said that events like El Niṉo and La Nin̵a are important in the big picture.What’s wrong is that we all only see the big picture, and they don’t tell us what might happen or where it would happen where we live..”

Even though the chances are getting better, Sealls said it’s important to remember that it all depends on what the weather is like during any given week of storm season. He said that any further rise in the odds would not reveal “any advance notice for where things get crazy, if they get crazy.”

Mike Steele, director of communications for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency readiness, said that they don’t teach a “extra layer” of readiness because of the possibility of a busy hurricane season. Between August 2020 and August 2021, four storms hit land in Louisiana. Three of them were hurricanes.

Steele said that the state wants its people to be ready all year, no matter what the weather is like. “You can’t hang your hat on hope, you hang your hat on being prepared.”

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