delware environmental institute

Cape Gazette: Climatologists predict below-average hurricane season

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have predicted this year’s hurricane season may produce fewer storms than average, but that doesn’t mean the coast is safe from a major hurricane. NOAA has predicted a 70 percent chance that this season will bring six to 11 named storms. Scientists also predict three to six of those storms will develop into hurricanes, with up to two Category 3 or higher storms, with winds reaching 111 mph and higher. The official hurricane season began June 1 and runs through the end of November.

State climatologist and University of Delaware Department of Geography professor Daniel Leathers said NOAA's outlook aligns with the hurricane season outlooks at Colorado State University and the Weather Channel, and relates to this year's El Nino, which is expected to suppress hurricane development.

El Niño is a warming of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which has a major influence on global weather, tending to disrupt the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, Leathers explained.