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Offbeat Thanks to El Niño, a 'below-normal' 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now expected

07:31  10 august  2018
07:31  10 august  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific indicate a drought-inducing El Nino may once again be forming. © Reuters Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific indicate a drought-inducing El Nino may once again be forming. Good news! A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected.

Thanks in part to a developing El Niño, federal forecasters said a "below-normal" Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

Overall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts nine to 13 named tropical storms will develop in the region, which includes the Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Of those storms, anywhere from four to seven will become hurricanes. This is a drop from an earlier hurricane prediction made in May, when NOAA said five to nine hurricanes would form.

Hurricane Hector closing in on Hawaii and volcano

  Hurricane Hector closing in on Hawaii and volcano Hurricane Hector gained strength as it headed across the Pacific, threatening to hit Hawaii's Big Island and possibly its active volcano, officials said early Sunday. Hector's winds dropped to 125 mph from 130 mph, the diving line between Categories 3 and 4, early Sunday as it moved westward at 12 mph Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

The forecast includes the four storms (Alberto, Beryl, Chris and Debby) that have already formed. 

The quieter season is due to oceanic and atmospheric conditions that have become “much more inhospitable to hurricane formation and intensification,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. 

El Niño – a natural warming of Pacific ocean water – typically suppresses hurricane activity by sending strong winds across the Atlantic and Caribbean, Bell said. Those winds often shear apart developing storms, he said.

Forecasters now say there's a 70 percent chance that El Niño will form during the hurricane season.

Unusually cool ocean water in the Atlantic is also a factor in the reduced forecast. Hurricanes need to fuel from warm ocean water to form and intensify.

Category 4 Hector heads towards Hawaii

  Category 4 Hector heads towards Hawaii Even as a months-long volcanic eruption goes on, Hawaii is now on alert for a dangerous hurricane forecast to pass south of the islands at midweek. As of 5 p.m. Sunday local time (11 p.m. ET) Hurricane Hector was about to cross into the Central Pacific Basin as a Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said. Hector was about 1,130 miles (1,820 km) east-southeast of South Point Hawaii and traveling west at 14 mph (22 km/h), with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h), it said.

A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected . Thanks in part to a developing El Niño , federal forecasters said a " below - normal " Atlantic hurricane season is most likely, in an updated prediction released Thursday.

The season officially began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Last year, 17 named storms formed, of which 10 were hurricanes, including monsters such as Harvey, Irma and Maria. 

More: Puerto Rico acknowledges much higher death toll from Hurricane Maria: 1,427 fatalities

While the Atlantic hurricane season should be quiet, the opposite is true for hurricanes in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, Bell said. There, El Nino tends to boost hurricane activity. Already, 11 named storms have formed there. 

Whatever the predictions, officials caution that it only takes one powerful hurricane to bring disaster. "Today’s updated outlook is a reminder that we are entering the height of hurricane season and everyone needs to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA administrator Brock Long.

“Now is the time to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update your insurance and have a preparedness plan," Long said. 

Hawaii's Big Island readies as Hurricane Hector approaches

  Hawaii's Big Island readies as Hurricane Hector approaches Hawaii emergency officials who have been contending with Kilauea volcano's lava flow were preparing for a hurricane that was expected to pass to the south of the islands this week.Hurricane preparations were underway just as lava from the last active eruption site in a Big Island neighborhood decreased dramatically over the weekend and fewer earthquakes were felt."Basically the system appears to have almost shut down completely over the course of a couple of days," said Tina Neal, scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. She likened it to turning off a spigot.

Thanks to El Niño , a ' below - normal ' 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now expected . A repeat of the nightmarish 2017 hurricane season isn't expected , thanks in part to a developing El Niño .

After a devastating Atlantic hurricane season in 2017, there is good news ahead for the 2018 season . AccuWeather meteorologists predict an El Niño to form during August and September, reducing the likelihood of tropical development.

Bell warned that "there are still more storms to come – the hurricane season is far from being over."

Are you ready for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season? .
<p>It's now the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin.</p>It's now the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin.

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