ATS researchers predict slightly below-average 2019 Atlantic hurricane season
Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2019, citing the relatively high likelihood of a weak El Niño as a primary factor.
Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are currently slightly below their long-term average values and are consequently considered an inhibiting factor for 2019 Atlantic hurricane activity as well.
A weak El Niño has recently developed in the tropical Pacific. CSU anticipates that these weak El Niño conditions are likely to persist through the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form.
The tropical Atlantic is slightly cooler than normal right now. Colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic provide less fuel for tropical cyclone formation and intensification. They are also associated with a more stable atmosphere as well as drier air, both of which suppress organized thunderstorm activity necessary for hurricane development.
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