The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its latest update for this year’s hurricane outlook and things still look to be quite active in the Atlantic basin in the next few months. Of more interest to us locally is the mention of a possible “La Nina” impact on the hurricane outlook. If La Nina does become more pronounced in the next few months, not only will there be less vertical wind shear in the tropics to encourage hurricane development, but our upcoming winter here in the Midwest is certainly going to be affected. In the latest Climate Prediction Center analysis there was some evidence that suggests we may be dealing with a moderate to strong La Nina phase this fall and winter which could mean a warm fall followed by colder than normal temperatures over the winter months. It’s too early right now to make snowfall predictions, but it seems very possible that we could be facing a snowier period from December through March if the Climate Prediction Center’s long range forecast pans out, so you may want to wax up your skis and tune up the snow blower…just in case. Below are the latest NOAA hurricane outlook statement and the preliminary outlook for this upcoming winter from the Climate Prediction Center.
NOAA Still Expects Active Atlantic Hurricane Season; La Niña Develops
The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. With the season’s peak just around the corner – late August through October – the need for preparedness plans is essential.
NOAA also announced today that, as predicted last spring, La Niña has formed in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This favors lower wind shear over the Atlantic Basin, allowing storm clouds to grow and organize. Other climate factors pointing to an active hurricane season are warmer-than-average water in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, and the tropical multi-decadal signal, which since 1995 has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in unison, leading to more active seasons.
“August heralds the start of the most active phase of the Atlantic hurricane season and with the meteorological factors in place, now is the time for everyone living in hurricane prone areas to be prepared,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the whole season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated outlook is projecting, with a 70 percent probability, a total of (including Alex, Bonnie and Colin):
- 14 to 20 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
- 8 to 12 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
- 4 to 6 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
These ranges are still indicative of an active season, compared to the average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes; however, the upper bounds of the ranges have been lowered from the initial outlook in late May, which reflected the possibility of even more early season activity.
“All indications are for considerable activity during the next several months,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “As we’ve seen in past years, storms can come on quickly during the peak months of the season. There remains a high likelihood that the season could be very active, with the potential of being one of the more active on record.”
Climate Prediction Center temperature probabilities for this winter
Climate Prediction Center precipitation probabilities for this winter
Posted under Tropical weather, winter
This post was written by tschmidt on August 6, 2010