2016 Hurricane Season Expected To Be Average
If you've lived in the Gulf South long enough you know that an "average" hurricane season can be just as devastating as busy or not so busy season. It only takes one hurricane to really mess up a year.
However, those who live near the water have come to expect hurricanes as part of the cost enjoying the lifestyle we love. The past few seasons as far as the Louisiana coast has been concerned have been very quiet. Forecasters are now beginning to release their best guesses for the season six weeks ahead of the official start.
Researchers at Colorado State University are among the most respected in the tropical forecast business. Dr. Phil Klotzbach , who is lead author on the school's 2016 forecast report told the Louisiana Radio Network that their projection is for 12 named storms this season.
Of those 12, 5 becoming hurricanes. And of those 5, two becoming major category 3, 4, 5 hurricanes. That's about the average hurricane season.
This will be a bit of a step up from the previous season's forecast when El Nino was really strong over the Pacific Ocean. Early observations indicate those atmospheric conditions appear to be changing. Yet sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic have remained cooler than average.
That tends to kind of squelch the thunderstorms that are the building blocks of hurricanes. So we think those two factors are going to tend to cancel each other out this year and lead to a more average season.
So, what are the chances we could see a land falling major hurricane on the Gulf Coast this season? Dr. Klotzbach says about 30%. Which is another hallmark of an average season forecast.
Which is near its long-term average, so one in every three years you get a major hurricane along the Gulf Coast.
Dr. Klotzbach says that averages out to a major hurricane impacting the Gulf Coast every three to five years. Hmmm, the last two years have been quiet, let's hope that isn't the calm before the storm.
The next official forecast from Colorado State will be issued on June 1st. That's the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.