May 8, 2014 in Washington Voices

Expect active hurricane season


The Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Based on the current data, I predict 2014 may be a bit active with 14 to 18 named storms and six to nine becoming hurricanes. The normal is 11 named storms with six becoming hurricanes. Last year, there were 16 storms with Karen forming in early October.

However, tropical storm and hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University predict a quiet 2014 Atlantic hurricane season with nine tropical storms forming and three becoming hurricanes. They believe that the warmer El Nino sea-surface temperature pattern will form along the equatorial regions in the next few months. If an El Nino forms quickly, it could cut the hurricane season short because El Ninos often sheer the tops off tropical storms preventing further intensification.

Ocean temperatures have warmed slightly over the past few weeks, though not enough to declare an El Nino. And, there is often a lag effect of four to six weeks for global weather patterns to adjust when the waters warm up. During the 1997 hurricane season, there was a very strong El Nino and only seven named storms formed.

In terms of our local weather, we should continue to see a sun-and-showers pattern for the rest of the month. Temperatures should be near to slightly below normal until early June. Then, the high pressure system is expected to intensify and bring us a very warm to hot summer across the Inland Empire with only scattered showers, mainly over the higher elevations.

Contact Randy Mann at wxmann, or go to www.longrangeweather. com for additional information.

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