EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ With several weeks to go until the official start of hurricane season, projections are already calling for an active season.
Colorado State University has released it’s 2021 Tropical Outlook and it’s calling for an above average season regarding total storms and hurricanes.
On average, there are 12 named storms each year, but CSU’s projection puts us over that average with 17.
As a result, we’d see a spike in total hurricanes which could lead to more of those hurricanes becoming major (Category 3 or higher).
There are several factors that go into forecasting the tropical season ahead. These are a few of the main factors that point towards yet another active season.
El Niño would be the opposite of La Niña in terms of weather conditions. La Niña features a very warm Atlantic ocean with a much cooler pool of water in the Pacific. Due to these warmer waters in the Atlantic, any storm that does form will automatically have fuel to strengthen.
As storms become larger and slow their movement down, it means more time spent over warmer waters and potentially causing more damage when impacting land.
A look at the sea-surface-temperature (SST) anomalies show the above average water temperatures very well in the Atlantic.
Similarly comparing it to the SST anomalies in the Pacific, they’re much cooler than average. The thick areas of blue on the above maps represents this.
Finally, to top it all off, let’s take a look at the current ocean temperatures surrounding the United States, keep in mind we’re just only approaching mid-April.
A large area of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico are very warm already which could lead to storms forming faster, sooner and lasting longer.