All eyes have been on the Atlantic lately, as hurricanes caught many a weather forecaster off guard last year, with two, Maria and Irma, stealing the spotlight away from less illustrious regions.
With the Atlantic season approaching its penultimate week, the Atlantic hurricane season is about to kick off, and it seems the monsoon pattern looks set to do so, too.
As 2014’s El Niño continues to feed on the warm oceans of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, rising sea surface temperatures and extra energy will combine to produce an average to above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year.
Specifically, the AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski anticipates that a large part of the Caribbean, along with the coasts of southern Venezuela and Jamaica will see bouts of thunderstorms from the Atlantic Ocean carrying persistent tropical cyclone pressure to maximum values.
“Significant rainfall could result from these systems, where heavy rain could impact areas such as the northern Cuban coast, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands,” said Kottlowski.
The risk of bad weather will be especially high, since these storms will be located where a very active and extreme hurricane season (2018-17) occurred in 2017.
Kottlowski pointed out that, last season, there were more named storms named than in any other two-year period on record.
“All eyes will be on an active 2017 season. In fact, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season set a record for the number of named storms with 17, tying 2017’s record,” Kottlowski added.
2017’s storm count is the most since 2008 with nearly three times as many tropical storms as normal. A third of the named storms that formed were major tropical cyclones, which are anywhere from Category 3 to Category 5.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season can be compared to an average season, with Kottlowski stating, “17 tropical storms and five hurricanes may not appear to be a lot, but keep in mind this is just a few less than normal.
“In fact, for the entire Atlantic Basin the 2017 season was much less active than recent years,” Kottlowski said.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30.
“Named storms are quite random, and with a La Niña event in place, storms could become very slow moving and cause a lot of missed opportunities to form and grow as tropical cyclones. But this was not the case last year,” Kottlowski explained.
The rest of the year will see the storm season linger for several months, and there is a possibility that forecasters could miss their mark by as much as five hurricanes, a larger number than usual.
So, start stocking up on storm supplies now!
For you meteorologists and meteorologists, the focus will be on tropical storms, and that means the tropics could feature active pattern, as well as tropical air coming up the East Coast and affecting the South East.