Busy hurricane season expected

By Allison Marlow
Posted 4/16/21

Colorado State University has issued its annual hurricane prediction and it may prove to be another rough season for coastal residents.

Researchers believe the season will bring 17 named storms, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Busy hurricane season expected

Posted

Colorado State University has issued its annual hurricane prediction and it may prove to be another rough season for coastal residents.

Researchers believe the season will bring 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Recent climatological averages usually see 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes in a typical season.

The higher number this year may be due to a lack of winds that tear apart hurricanes as they form. Those upper-level westerly winds that move across the Caribbean and into the Atlantic are known as El Nino and this year they are not present.

El Nino is a weather system that emerges in the Pacific Ocean but is so large it impacts weather patterns around the globe. It comes and goes every two to five years and lasts roughly 12 months. Typically, when El Nino is occurring, the Atlantic hurricane season is quieter.

CSU researchers said warmer than normal sea surface temperatures also contribute to a more active hurricane season. Warmer waters at the top of the ocean or gulf helps fuel storms.

It is interesting to note that in 2018 the U.S. National Climate Change Assessment reported that "increases in greenhouse gases and decreases in air pollution have contributed to increases in Atlantic hurricane activity since 1970."

Meaning, the average number of storms experienced in hurricane season today is greater than the average number of storms expected a generation ago.

Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.