Jun 1, 2015 9:55 PM
Monday marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season which lasts right through the end of November. This season, many forecasters expect it will likely be quieter than average. While Most hurricane seasons start off slow, as the oceans start to warm, the season ramps up in August, and reaches a peak in September. This year, NOAA is predicting the season will feature six to 11 named storms, three to six of which could become hurricanes, and up to two major hurricanes.
A strengthening El Niño and cooler ocean temperatures will lead to unfavorable hurricane conditions over the Atlantic Ocean. El Niño tends to dampen hurricane formation in the Atlantic by increasing wind shear. Weak tropical disturbances have a more difficult time growing tall in the atmosphere with these stronger winds aloft. Hurricanes also need warm sea surface temperatures to develop. Cooler ocean temperatures decrease not only the intensity of the storms that do form, but also the formation of storms in general. Many times the cool water make the air above the water too dry and unfavorable for storm development.
The quiet outlook in just more of recent trend with a lack of hurricane activity and no major hurricane landfalls on the US coastline for nearly a decade. NOAA cautions that even a below-average season can still be dangerous in terms of landfalls and damage, and that preparedness is crucial no matter the outlook.