Last year was an active hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin with 19 named storms, of which 12 became hurricanes. The United States coastlines lucked out with most of the storms and all of the hurricanes staying out to sea.
According to NOAA TMs Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Weather Service, now is the time to prepare for another busy season. Their prediction for the 2011 season which begins June 1st is for 12 to 18 named storms, 6-10 becoming hurricanes, 3-6 of those becoming major hurricanes. For comparison, a typical hurricane season includes 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
There are three factors in the climate which supports their prediction. The first is the tropical multi-decadal signal which has been in a high level of activity for storms since 1995. Secondly the waters of the tropical Atlantic Ocean where these storms form are warmer than average at this point. Lastly there is no El Nino present. An El Nino would create shearing wind conditions at upper levels and suppress storm formation.
You can read further into the hurricane season forecast from NOAA here on the Climate Prediction Center TMs website.
Another set of respected tropical climate predictors are at Colorado State University. Dr. William Gray and Philip Klotzbach are also calling for a well above average season for 2011. In their April forecast they called for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes. More on their predictions can be found at their website here.I pose this question to anyone out there with an opinion on this subject. Do you think this above average activity in the tropics lately has anything to do with global warming? Let me know what you think below with a comment. I would love to hear and share your ideas. You can follow my forecasts and be friends with me on Facebook.com by clicking here and hitting add friend