Global climate patterns and atmospheric humors are leaning toward a 65 percent chance of an above-normal 2021 hurricane season, according to Colorado State University, which has issued seasonal hurricane forecasts for 38 years, reports the Hill.
That means that the U.S. will likely face an onslaught of hurricanes this season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team predicts at least 17 named storms with eight of those expected to become hurricanes with four reaching high category hurricane strength, reports the Hill.
The number of storms CSU predicted for 2021 is well above average. Twelve named storms turning into six hurricanes with three of those being major hurricanes is considered a normal season.
Hurricane activity for 2021 also will be about 140 percent of the average season, CSU researchers predict.
The high number of predicted storms, says experts, is likely due to the absence of an El Niño event in the Pacific Ocean being buttressed by warmer subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures, reports the Hill.
An El Niño occurs when the eastern Pacific Ocean warms, causing a shift in rainfall and storm patterns which then reduces wind shear in the Pacific and increases it in the Atlantic Ocean. Westerly wind shear in the Atlantic works to tear apart hurricanes as they develop; the result is less storms, reports the Palm Beach Post.
”El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form,” CSU researchers wrote.
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season saw a record-breaking 30 named storms with 12 of those named storms making landfall in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The previous record was 28 named storms, set in 2005.
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