(WTNH) – Dr. Phil Klotzbach and the forecasters at Colorado State University have released their annual Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook. Here’s a look at why they anticipate another potentially active season.
2021 was an active year in the Atlantic, churning out 21 named storms. Forecasters at CSU predict this season will produce 19 named storms. Of those 19 named storms, 9 will become hurricanes, and 4 could become major hurricanes with winds over 111 MPH.
So why another potentially busy season? Blame it on the absence of El Nino and the likelihood of La Nina or neutral conditions.
“The chance of an El Nino for August through October, which is the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season, is only 7 percent. When El Nino occurs, it tends to cause an increase in winds at high in the atmosphere at 20, 25, 30,000 feet that tend to tear apart hurricanes,” Dr. Klotzbach said.
A higher probability of an active season leads to a higher probability of landfalling hurricanes, and that means a chance for major hurricanes as well. Last year, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, coincidentally on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
“In general, more active seasons do have more landfalls, but you can certainly have a very quiet season that has a significant landfall. The classic example of that is 1992 with Hurricane Andrew. There was only one major hurricane in the Atlantic that year, but it was Andrew and obviously, that was devastating for south Florida and made landfall as a Category 5,” Dr. Klotzbach said.
Alternatively, you can have an active season like 2010, when there were 12 hurricanes, yet none of them made landfall in the US.
While the threat of a major hurricane in New England is low, we are no strangers to tropical activity. Last year, we experienced record rainfall and coastal flooding from Elsa, Henri, and Ida.