By Matthew Casey
It’s almost that time of year again. The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will soon be here running from June 1 to November 30. With that, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their outlook for the coming season.
Here is the chart detailing the specifics of the 2010 Hurricane Season Forecast.
This year’s outlook happens to be higher than the seasonal averages of eleven named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, meaning that if this forecast is to hold true this would be a more active season than we’ve seen in a while.
One major factor that could lead to a more active season this year is that El Nino in the Eastern Pacific ocean is dissipating which means there is less wind shear in the upper levels of the atmosphere. During the 2009 season El Nino was just taking hold which resulted in strong wind shear that ripped the storms apart and suppressed the development of most storms.
Another ingredient in the recipe for increased activity this year is that water temperatures in the Atlantic ocean are about four degrees Fahrenheit higher than usual in the area where most hurricanes form.
As for the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, don’t expect it to have any effect on the development of hurricanes. According to the NOAA website, the hurricanes themselves are much larger than the size of the oil slick. This means that the overall impact on the evaporation of sea water that the storms need to intensify would be minimal resulting in no affect on the overall intensity of the system. The oil spill is also not expected to have any affect on storm surge wave heights near coastal areas.
To keep up to date on the status of storms as they develop this season you can visit Environment Canada’s website which has a section that tracks all of the storms in the Atlantic Ocean.