Annually, Dr. Philip Klotzbach, and his team at Colorado State University, put together a forecast on potential number of storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes for the upcoming Atlantic tropical season.
He announced his forecast for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season at the National Tropical Conference on Thursday in South Padre Texas.
He is calling for a below-average season, due to cooler Atlantic waters and the impacts of El-Nino.
El-Nino is a oceanic oscillation in the eastern Pacific that affects wind and ocean currents across a wide area. During El-Nino years, high pressure aloft, tends to enhance westerly wind shear across much of the Caribbean sea and Atlantic ocean. Wind shear is typically bad for the development of tropical systems in general. El-Nino is expected to get stronger over the next few months, heading through most of the hurricane season.
Here are the numbers he's forecasting for the upcoming hurricane season.
Named Storms: 11
Major Hurricanes: 2
Now, personally, I am not a huge fan of long-term and seasonal forecasts, because they give a general idea, and are not meant to be taken as concrete truth. Also, the terms "below-average" or "slow" season can be misleading, because it only takes one storm to affect the area, making it a rough season for Louisiana. While I do agree with the prospect of a slower hurricane season, do not see this as a decreased threat for Louisiana. The example I always give is of Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. That year was a relatively slow-starting season, with the A-storm not developing until August. But of course, Hurricane Andrew will always be remembered in the minds of people alive at the time to experience it. It only takes one storm!
~Meteorologist Trevor Sonnier