The 2010 hurricane season is here and it will last until November 30th. As I mentioned last week, this season is developing into a very active tropical season. Why you may ask? Well here are a few reasons:
1. Weakening El Niño
2. Ocean temperatures warming
3. Weakening trade winds
4. Higher humidity and lower sea pressure
Last year, El Niño was present for most of the year and that is one of the main reasons why last year was quiet. With El Niño present, the ocean is unstable with strong wind shear (tears apart tropical cyclones) and other inhibiting factors. La Niña provides the opposite – nice environment for storms to flourish. She is already commencing to appear in the enviroment and will be in full force by the summer, if not sooner.
Ocean temperatures, which fuel tropical cyclones, for March and April have set new records dating back to 1950 and have continued to increased throughout May. The reason is due to a weak subtropical ridge of high pressure that has reduced trade winds and allowed the ocean to warm-up considerably. The easterly ocean currents will carry the warm water towards the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico by Aug/Sep to warm further. With the ocean this warm, it is hard to ignore the fact that tropical activity will be kept to a minimum.
The experts have compiled together a few years that could be compared to how the 2010 season is currently set-up. In other words, the pre-2010 hurricane season atmospheric set-up can be best compared to the years of: 1964, 1969, 1995, 2005, and 2008. No one out there is saying that this hurricane season will be a “replica” of the 2005 season. On the contrary, it has been said that they don’t expect the totals to reach or eclipse the 2005 record year.
Dr. Gray and his team at Colorado State University just released their updated forecast. They do these updates 4 times a year (December 2009, April 2010, June, and August). I will read it within the next few days and my next post will touch on the information within the report , tell you what he thinks might occur this season, and what has changed from his April update. I can tell you that in April he predicted 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. He now thinks this season will generate 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.
More to come in the near future. Stay tuned.