Hurricanes are a pretty big deal on the East Coast. After last year's hurricane season, you can see why. In 2018, there were fifteen storms. Eight of those storms became hurricanes. Two of those storms were major hurricanes, Florence and Michael. These two storms combined, killed more than 100 people and created more than $50 billion dollars in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The 2019 hurricane season begins June 1, 2019 and ends November 30, 2019. So far, two forecasts have been released, predicting a relatively normal hurricane season. One of those projections is from The Weather Company. Their projection for the season has 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes. Keep in mind, an average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
So, how do forecasters come up with their projections? Well, they look at the water temperature in the Atlantic along with upper-level weather models. One major weather pattern that forecasters are looking at is a fairly weak El Nino.
El Nino is when the Pacific Ocean's water temperatures are warmer than normal. This leads to more storms developing on the West Coast of the United States. For example, this past winter, Northern California saw several atmospheric rivers. This left much of California with an above average precipitation for the winter months along with an amazing snowpack.
Something else about an El Nino, it can lead to less tropical development in the Atlantic Ocean which can lead to fewer hurricanes. That's great news for people who live along the East Coast. You see, an El Niño leads to more active weather from atmospheric rivers to thunderstorms. These weather patterns can affect the weather over the Atlantic. “When you have an El Niño, you have a large area of sinking motion that prevents storms from forming [over the Atlantic],” says Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at the Weather Company.
Right now, we'll just have to wait and see.
WATCH MORE: El Nino: What is it and the effects?
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