Updated Hurricane Forecast
Article was added on Wednesday, August 17, 2016
By Derrill Holly | ECT Staff Writer ECT.coop
The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season has been
relatively uneventful with only five named storms to date. But a
hurricane forecast now says this could be the most active season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now predicts
12 to 17 named storms, up from the 10 to 16 noted in its initial
forecast released in May.
"We've raised the numbers because some conditions now in place
are indicative of a more active hurricane season," said Gerry Bell,
lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction
Bell cited dissipation of the warming El Niño atmospheric
conditions, weakening vertical wind shear and trade winds over the
central tropical Atlantic, and strengthening monsoon conditions in
West Africa as contributing factors.
But conditions elsewhere are also expected to prevent extreme
tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Basin, said Bell. Those
include ocean temperatures less conducive to storm development in
the Atlantic and eastern subtropical Pacific, and atmospheric and
wind shear patterns over the Caribbean Sea.
NOAA also announced Aug. 11 that development of the La Niña
effect is expected to cool ocean temperatures in the equatorial
"Given these competing conditions, La Niña, if it develops, will
most likely be weak and have little impact on the hurricane
season," added Bell.
Of five named storms so far in 2016, two, Alex and Earl,
developed hurricane strength winds. Alex, a rare January hurricane,
dissipated at sea. Earl caused flooding and landslides in Belize
and Caribbean Mexico, Aug. 9-10. Tropical storms Bonnie and Colin
brought heavy rain to parts of South Carolina and Florida between
May 29-June 7, and Tropical Storm Danielle hit eastern Mexico, June
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