(TBT) – There’s an increased likelihood that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be above-normal now that the irregular weather pattern known as El Niño has faded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. Scientists now predict 10 to 17 named storms throughout the season, which runs June through November. Five to nine of them could become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes Category 3 or higher with winds of 111 mph or greater. Two named storms already have formed this season. One became Hurricane Barry, a Category 1 hurricane that hit Louisiana


Advertisement


in July. Historically, 95 percent of all Atlantic hurricanes form from August through October. In May, forecasters predicted a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season. They expected El Niño, a hurricane suppressant that creates wind shear over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, to cancel out conditions that have led to stronger hurricane activity since 1995. Those conditions include a stronger West African monsoon, weaker wind shear across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, and wind patterns coming off the coast of Africa that can spin up storms, said Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead hurricane season forecaster. READ MORE

Advertisement

An American newspaper published in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. It has won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, and in 2009, won two in a single year for the first time in its history, one of which was for its PolitiFact project.