NOAA has upped its hurricane forecast for the year to five to nine hurricanes with two to four major storms. NOAA lead hurricane season forecaster Gerry Bell says all the ingredients are now in place for an above-average hurricane season as part of a high activity era in place since the mid-nineties.
“Conditions that we’ve seen just in the last three years, each one has been an active Atlantic season. We are seeing those same conditions again this year so at least through this year, it does not look like that high activity era is fading,” said Bell.
There have only been two named storms so far, with Hurricane Barry impacting the state as a category 1 storm at landfall. Bell says as the season moves into August, the way that storms begin to form becomes more reliant on activity off of the African coast.
“Every once in a while you can get a storm spinning off of a front or something during this period, but a bulk of the activity would be from the tropical wave,” said Bell.
Bell says of the impact of climate change on the production of hurricanes…
“Global warming for the Atlantic actually produces increased wind shear and that’s why they think it could reduce the number of storms, but maybe result in fewer, stronger storms,” said Bell.