Today was the release of the first 2017 Hurricane season forecast by Colorado State University. CSU issues a yearly forecast when it pertains to the upcoming hurricane season and they have been doing this for quite sometime now.
Their forecast is calling for a marginally below normal hurricane season. Here’s a look at the forecast vs the long term average.
There are a lot of factors that go into making such a cumbersome forecast. It isn’t as easy just to say that if the water is warm, there will be more than normal hurricanes. Considerations such as the amount of dry air in the atmosphere, the amount of winds at upper levels of the atmosphere, conditions that would even spark a low pressure, and of course water temperatures. Below we highlight some of the factors that they have taken into consideration.
Let’s quickly talk about El Niño… Majority of long term forecast models are calling for a moderate to weak El Niño to form around the start of hurricane season. Typically an El Niño suppresses tropical development based upon long term observations, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the threat of tropical systems. What an El Niño does in simple terms is potentially add wind shear to the Atlantic basin as a subtropical jet becomes active. Like said earlier though, this won’t eliminate the chance for tropical development.
As always, don’t look at this forecast and breathe a sigh of relief. All it takes is one hurricane to make it a bad season for us and you still want to prepare regardless of the forecast. Stay tuned to News 5 and the First Alert Storm Team as we move closer to hurricane season which starts in a little under 2 months from now.