2017 Atlantic hurricane forecast: Possible El Nino to limit development of storms
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
May 31, 2017, 3:06:18 PM EDT
Share this article:
Experts are calling for a below-normal hurricane season this year, as a potential El Niño may limit the development of storms.
AccuWeather meteorologists are predicting 10 named storms, five of which are projected to become hurricanes and three of which may become major hurricanes.
“The big factor is going to be the fact that we now believe El Niño will come on board some time during the summer and will continue all the way through the rest of the hurricane season,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.
El Niño is characterized by warmer-than-normal ocean water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator.
It typically causes episodes of strong westerly winds in the tropical Atlantic, which inhibit the development of storms.
“That’s the number one reason we’re going with just below normal,” Kottlowski said.
Though the transition is likely, it's too soon to tell how quickly El Niño will develop and how strong it will become.
If the El Niño pattern becomes moderate in the late summer and fall - meaning episodes of these winds are more frequent, the season could end early.
Despite these uncertainties, two to four tropical impacts are forecast for the United States.
2016 Atlantic hurricane season ends as the deadliest in more than 10 years
2017 US spring forecast: Winter won't quit in Northeast; Severe weather to explode across Plains
Matthew and Otto retired from hurricane name list
A close eye is being kept on coastal sections of the northern Gulf of Mexico, including Florida, and the Southeast coast for development, Kottlowski said.
Analog years, or years in which the climatic pattern was similar to the current pattern, suggest these regions may be particularly vulnerable to impacts.
Deep, warm water and high sea surface temperatures over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean also threaten to support at least one high impact hurricane similar to Joaquin in 2015 and Matthew in 2016.
The 2017 season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, follows the deadliest in over 10 years for the Atlantic basin.
Last season spawned 15 named storms, seven of which were hurricanes. It was also the costliest Atlantic hurricane season since 2012.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 7:08:00 AM EST
One person is dead and dozens injured after a landslide derailed a commuter train traveling toward Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday.
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 5:50:47 AM EST
Beginning at midweek and continuing through Black Friday, a series of storm systems will bring sweeping changes to the recent weather pattern that has been locked in across California.
The busiest travel week of the year also falls during a volatile time for extreme weather.
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 9:01:06 AM EST
People that fled their homes to escape the Camp Fire are on the move again before a storm delivers drenching rain to California.
Weather News - November 19, 2018, 4:16:58 PM EST
For the third straight year, the American Farm Bureau Federation found the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner to have declined in total price from the previous year's holiday.
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 6:11:21 AM EST
The coldest air so far this season will sweep across northern Europe during the first half of this week, bringing the potential for snow to some communities.
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 7:33:07 AM EST
Despite not becoming a cyclone, a storm is still expected to threaten southern India with flooding rain through Thursday.
Black Friday forecast: Storms to drench Deep South; Shoppers to encounter chilly weather in Northeast
Weather News - November 20, 2018, 8:04:51 AM EST
The holiday shopping season officially begins on Black Friday, and for many Americans planning a long day of bargain hunting, the weather should not impede their trips to the stores.