FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University has released their annual spring forecast for the upcoming hurricane season.
The forecast, led by Dr. Philip Klotzbach with special assistance from Dr. William Gray, calls for a near average Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane Alex has formed back in January, so the forecast below represents additional tropical activity expected in 2016 and does not include Alex:
El Niño, which has been present for numerous months, is weakening. La Niña conditions are likely to develop in the coming months. La Niña is a phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation that’s associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial eastern and central Pacific Ocean.
The La Niña phase tends to correlate with less wind shear over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, enabling tropical systems to form more easily and maintain strength longer. Klotzbach believes the timing of the development of La Niña, along with Atlantic sea surface temperatures around the peak of the season will play large roles in the intensity of the season. The report states that until more is known about these conditions, the forecast remains highly uncertain.