The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are now more favourable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has now ended.
Two named storms have formed so far this year and the peak months of the hurricane season, August through October, are now underway.
Acting Senior Met Officer, Marshal Alexander says the new update in the forecast is a reminder for everyone to remain prepared.
“The new prediction is for an above normal hurricane season this year. So what National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration is saying is that there is expected to be a 45% chance of an above normal season and previously it was a 30 % chance. Also there is 35% chance of a near normal season and in May there was 40% chance and there is a 20% chance of a below normal season and previously it was 30%,” he reported.
Alexander continued,” So now the expectation is for 10-17 named storms, and in May it was 9-15. So we know we already had two storms which are Andrea and Barry. Expectation is for 5-9 hurricanes. Previously it was 4-8.”
The number of predicted storms is also greater with the expectancy now at 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends November 30.
He proceeded to explain that, “The reason for that prediction is that an analysis has suggested that El Nino is no more. And the result of El Nino is that it provides a lot of wind-shear above the Atlantic that would impede the formation of tropical cyclones. So we are experiencing a neutral El Nino so conditions could be favourable for Tropical Cyclone development in the Atlantic.”