El Nino and our hurricane risk
We are about to begin hurricane season and we’re going to talk about something happening thousands of miles away in the Pacific. An El Nino event, likely the strongest one since the late 90s is developing. An El Nino event, the warming of the waters of the equatorial Pacific, has a major impact on hurricane development in the Atlantic.
Disrupts wind patterns
An El Nino event does that by disrupting wind patterns around the world and increasing the strength of westerly winds across the tropical Atlantic. What that does, is create a lot of wind shear. When there’s low wind shear tropical systems will grow thousands of feet into the atmosphere getting stronger and stronger. When there is high wind shear clusters of storms are ripped apart and find it difficult to strengthen into full-blown tropical systems.
Because of El Nino, all the organizations that put out hurricane forecasts are predicting a normal to below normal season. Keep in mind average is 12 named systems, 6 of which become hurricanes, and 3 of those becoming major hurricanes category 3 or higher.
Lower risk; but on guard
Hopefully these forecasts hold true and the hurricane risk along the Gulf Coast is lower this year. Of course, it only takes one, so we still need to be prepared El Nino or not.