Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hurricane Watch: Despite El Niño NOAA Raises Forecast For Named Storms, Hurricanes and Major Hurricanes

From NPR:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today that the chance for a more active than normal hurricane season has increased since it issued its first prediction in May.

NOAA is now predicting 12 to 17 named storms and five to eight hurricanes. Two or three of those could become major hurricanes. In May, NOAA had predicted 9 to 15 storms.

"We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic," Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. "These conditions are linked to the ongoing high activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early-season activity is generally indicative of a more active season."...MORE
From the Palm Beach Post:frequency
...As is the case every year, how many storms will form, how strong they’ll be, and where they’ll go will depend on two phenomena that sound like the title of a Jimmy Buffett album: “El Niño and the Bermuda High.”

It’s now “likely” that an El Niño — the Pacific Ocean warm-water phenomenon that tends to hinder tropical storms and hurricanes — will develop this month or next, Bell said.

While the arrival of El Niño means the likelihood of fewer and weaker storms, that’s not the same as no storms. The 1969 season, an El Niño year, generated Camille, one of only three category 5 hurricanes to strike North America (Labor Day, 1935; Andrew, 1992). And 2004, also an El Niño year, ultimately generated 14 named storms — four of them slamming into Florida....MORE
 The long range models are not seeing any development for the next week to ten days despite TD7 and 93L.