We have officially just started hurricane season here in the United States. The season which runs until November officially has not been kind to us in these past two seasons, with devastating hurricanes hitting the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina.
This season, however, is likely to be different from the previous two.
Thanks to a weak El Nino, experts are expecting a weak, slightly below average Atlantic hurricane season. This information was composed by meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University.
They predicted that there will be 13 named tropical storms that will form, five of which will become hurricanes.
An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes. The past two seasons were above average seasons.
A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its wind speed reaches above 74 mph.
Of the five predicted hurricanes, two are expected to spin into major hurricanes – Category 3, 4 or 5 – with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater. The group said there’s a near-average chance for major hurricanes to make landfall along the U.S. coastline. Klotzbach put the chance of a major hurricane strike at 39%.
Last year, Florence and Michael combined to kill more than 100 Americans and cost nearly $50 billion in damage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The team predicts that 2019 hurricane activity will be about 75% of the average season. By comparison, 2018’s hurricane activity was about 120% of the average season.
The prediction from Colorado State last year was nearly spot on; they had predicted 14 tropical storms would form, of which seven would become hurricanes. In all, 15 tropical storms developed, and eight strengthened into hurricanes.
One of the major determining factors in hurricane forecasting is whether the USA is in an El Niño or La Niña climate pattern.