Hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The 2010 hurricane season has been predicted by some meteorologists as being “above-average” for the amount of developments occurring in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project has predicted 11 to 16 named storms for the 2010 hurricane season. Of these predicted storms, 6 to 8 are forecasted to become hurricanes with 3 to 5 of those being major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph.
Meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray who announced the above predictions also warn that there is at least a 52-64 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the coastline of the US during 2010. The duo have predicted a higher than usual hurricane season over the previous year but with 2009 being fairly calm, this prediction isn’t really a surprise.
Many people who live in hurricane-prone areas do not even take note of these early hurricane forecasts. Typically, they are way over-stated and they change often.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted 14 to 23 named storms with 8 to 14 of those storms potentially becoming hurricanes. This forecast could make this year's hurricane season one of the most active since 2005.
Because these predictions are not very accurate, the NOAA doesn’t push their forecasts as “fact”. It is preferred that individuals living in areas that can be hit by a hurricane, pay attention to weather forecasts throughout the season – but always be prepared beforehand.
One of the major factors in the amount of hurricanes goes back to El Nino and El Nina. If the El Nino conditions diminish, hurricanes can form more easily as the wind shear will be decreased. And if El Nino changes into La Nina, the hurricane season can become even more active. Because of the many factors that create what type of hurricane season lies ahead, forecasters are generally reserved about their predictions until they have enough data.
On the other end of the 2010 prediction spectrum, a meteorology professor at Florida State University (Dr. Peter Ray) has stated that he believes that the 2010 hurricane season will be fairly inactive. Studies involving “Atlantic warm pools” have shown that the lack of a warm pool create a less active hurricane season. This was the case in 2009 which Dr. Peter Ray says will continue through 2010.
Although the hurricane season predictions over the last few years have not been very accurate, it does give those living in potentially-affected areas months to prepare. And like in previous year’s predictions – be prepared for these forecasts to change as we close in nearer to the 2010 hurricane season.