Science

USA forecasters expect 10-16 tropical storms in active season

USA forecasters expect 10-16 tropical storms in active season”

Forecasters predict the hurricane season will be normal or above-normal. But the start of summer also signals the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

"Typically, with a more active season, the entire region around the Caribbean Sea, as well as both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States, are at an increased threat", Bell said.

These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.

Overall, the season will likely be normal or somewhat more intense than normal, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says, with a 25 percent chance that hurricane activity will be below normal.

Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are now near their long-term average values, according to the researchers at Colorado State.

Last year, NOAA initially predicted an extremely active season, forecasting 11 to 17 named storms - including up to nine hurricanes.

"The outlooks suggests that we will experience a near or above normal hurricane season this year", says NOAA Deputy Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs. The federal agency, which oversees the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, expects 10 to 16 tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic basin this year. The first name on the list, Alberto, could be forming in the central Gulf of Mexico later this week. "The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts".

During the upcoming season, there is a 70 percent chance of 10 to 16 named storms developing, with winds of 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) or higher.

Fewer storms are expected this year partly because of "the possibility of a weak El Nino developing", which could reduce the number of storms later in the season, NOAA said.

Irma reached Category 5 status and packed sustained winds of 185 miles per hour at its peak, Harvey reached Category 4 status, and so did Hurricane Jose when it roared through the Caribbean.

Weeks later Hurricane Irma hit, killing a total of 134 people in its wake as it ripped through Florida, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other a Caribbean islands with wind speeds of 134mph. Each of those years, there were 19 named storms, with 12 strengthening into hurricanes in 2010 and 10 becoming hurricanes in 2012, including Sandy, which caused widespread destruction in New Jersey.



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