Quieter Hurricane Season In Store According To Forecasters
Corpus Christi — Colorado State University researchers have unveiled their forecast for the upcoming 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. In their yearly prediction, the researchers are calling for a slightly below-average season in terms of total storms expected.
Their annual forecast calls for 13 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. An average hurricane season is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
Forecasters say that the reason for a slightly below average to near--average season is partially due to the effects of El Nino, the anomalous warming of the east Pacific water that causes global shifts in the atmospheric pattern.
In El Nino years, the subtropical jet stream lines up over Texas creating wetter and cooler conditions for our part of the world but it also creates an area of massive wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and the main areas for development of Atlantic hurricanes. That wind shear would hinder development of organized thunderstorms in the ocean and disrupt any development from occurring, hence the slightly lower predictions.
The prediction might sound like great news. However, for those of us who live along the coast, we cannot become too comfortable with it. Long range predictions, though based off of solid data, are oftentimes just simply wrong.
Two examples of that were hurricanes Andrew and Alicia. There were only seven named storms in 1992. Hurricane Andrew ended up becoming one of the most iconic storms in American history after struggling to develop for several days.
Some of us might be old enough to remember back in 1983, that season saw only four named storms and like 1992, the very first storm to develop was Alicia which quickly developed into a category 3 hurricane. That storm scored a direct hit on the Houston/Galveston area causing more than $2 billion in damages and becoming Texas' first billion dollar disaster.