The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration has released its 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season forecast. NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan says there is a 70% chance of 10 to 16 named storms during this season.
“4 to 8 of those are expected to become hurricanes and between one and 4 of those are hurricanes are expected to grow to category three or higher.”
The average season typically includes around 12 named storms. The Colorado State forecast team has predicted 13 named storms. Sullivan admits this year’s forecast is challenging because of various factors related to sea surface temperatures and how strong La Nina and its impacts will be.
“So, there is uncertainty as to whether these forces will be reinforcing each other or competing with respect to tropical storm formation.”
Sullivan says El Nino, which hinders tropical storm production, is dissipating and the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 70-percent chance that a La Nina will form.
“In the Atlantic, La Nina favors more hurricane activity, but model predictions show uncertainty as to how strong the La Nina impacts will be.”