MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Both Colorado State University ant the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have predicted an ‘above average’ year for tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean, but why is this expected to be one of the most active years in recent memory?
In this episode of the breakdown, we will explain why this hurricane season could be the business in years.
Back in May, NOAA issued their outlook for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. The organization predicted a 60% chance for an above normal season. Including the likely hood of 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes and 3 to 6 major hurricanes.
This prediction comes some 15 years after what many call the “unprecedented” 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which saw NOAA predict a 70% chance for an above normal season.
2005 saw 28 storms named with 5 becoming category 5 storms, causing the National Hurricane Center to reach into he greek alphabet as it exhausted its normal naming scheme. It was also the year that saw destruction from major storms like Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts.
So why did forecaster’s determine this year will be an active one for the Atlantic hurricane basin?
NOAA explains that it is several climate factors that will be driving this likelihood for above-normal activity.
One factor is the fact that the El Nino Southern Oscillation is expected to remain neutral or tend towards a La Nina trend. An El Nino will usually act to surprise hurricane activity, with that being neutral or nonexistent, it will aid in tropical development.
Another factor is the ocean water is expected to be warmer than average at the surface, in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean sea, that mixed with reduced vertical wind shear, or spin that tears apart tropical systems, and weaker tropical trade winds in the Atlantic, it will all aid in the ability for tropical storms to form.
In addition, the west African monsoon is expected to be enhanced, helping provide waves of energy off the African coast and move them into the Atlantic waters.
These factors combed will help aid in the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic Hurricane season. This same form of conditions has even producing more active seasons ever since the current high activity era began in 1995.