The end of this year’s El Nino could set the stage for an increased hurricane threat in the Atlantic Ocean.
After a relatively quiet start to the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA has announced that the end of El Nino has helped increase the chances of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45%. This is up from NOAA’s May prediction of 30%. The chances of near-normal activity is now 35%, and the chances of below-normal activity has fallen to 20%.
Predicting 2-4 Major Hurricanes
NOAA forecasters are also predicting 2-4 major hurricanes this season (winds 111 mph or greater). The 2019 hurricane season ends November 30. Read more about NOAA’s updated 2019 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes (Florence and Michael).
El Nino, characterized by warmer surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, tends to increase wind shear in the Atlantic. Wind shear helps suppress tropical cyclone development. Now that the periodic phenomenon has disappeared, things could get much more active weather-wise.
Peak of Season Still to Come, Prepare Now
With the peak hurricane months still to come (mid-August through the end of October), now is a great time to review emergency preparedness plans. High storm winds can damage the electrical grid and take water treatment plants offline, so make sure you have a potable water source available. Berkey® gravity-fed water purification systems purify raw freshwater sources with no electricity, plumbing or water pressure needed.