GET READY …
The 2017 hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean is officially underway … and forecasters are expecting it to be a busy one.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30 – reaching its climax in early September. According to Colorado State University (CSU)’s Tropical Meteorology Project, the upcoming season will produce fourteen named storms – including six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Meanwhile the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is calling for anywhere from eleven to seventeen named systems, with 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes.
Here’s a look at the NOAA forecast …
(Click to view)
For those of you keeping score at home, a major hurricane is one packing wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or higher – which equates to a category three or strong storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Niño, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
El Niño is the periodic warming of the central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean – while La Niña refers to the cooling of the Pacific that takes place in its aftermath.
During El Niño years, hurricanes are less likely to form in the Atlantic due to increased wind shear. In fact from 2014-2015 – when El Niño conditions were prevailing – there were only nineteen named systems and ten hurricanes (four of which developed into major storms). By contrast, between 2010-12 – when La Niña conditions prevailed – there were 57 named storms and 29 hurricanes (of which eleven developed into major systems).
Ready for the storm names?
(Click to view)
Wow … Ophelia?
Jamie Lee Curtis would be proud …
Last year’s season saw sixteen named storms, including seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Most notable among them? Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall in South Carolina as a category one storm after scraping the coasts of Florida and Georgia.
South Carolina has seen twenty-four hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? In addition to our always lively comments section (below), please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE or via our tip-line HERE …
Banner via iStock