Our area is land locked, meaning we don't border an ocean. That's a good thing because the climate experts at NOAA say this tropical storm and hurricane season will be quite active!
The hurricane season in the Atlantic basin begins June 1st and runs through the end of November. It usually will max out around September 11th. It's on that day you're most likely to see a tropical storm or hurricane somewhere in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean.
There are a few factors as to why this season will likely turn active. One is the absence of El Nino, with El Nino, you have stronger upper level winds which tear any would be hurricane from forming. This season, the upper winds are expected to be lighter so the thunderstorms which eventually turn to tropical storms and hurricanes can grow. Another big factor is the sea surface temperature is expected to be warmer than average. Warmer waters would mean stronger storms.
The official forecast calls for 14-23 names storms, 8-14 hurricanes with 3-7 of them becoming major hurricanes with winds greater than 130 mph. In an average season we get about 10 named storms. A tropical system receives a name when it becomes a tropical storm, winds greater than 39 mph. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when the wind reaches 74+ mph.
Now just because the forecast calls for an above active season DOES NOT mean there will be that many reach land. It is possible that a lot of these storms stay out to sea as thankfully most of them do.
There was one season which was very inactive and it took all the way until August to get a named storm and it's name was Andrew in 1992. So you see, it only takes one storm making landfall to make it a very bad season!
However, I'm forecasting at least one major hurricane to hit the United States sometime later this summer or early fall. Time will tell if, when or where that may occur.
Also, just because we're "land locked" doesn't mean we're immune to these systems. Sometimes after they come on land we can get flooding rains all the way here in our region. We just don't have the wind or surge our neighbors south and east do when these swirling tempests reach land.
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