Last updated on May 15, 2018
Cancun, Q.R. – The 2016 hurricane forecast for the Atlantic Basin is dependent on a cold body of water in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Meteorologists with AccuWeather are saying that this body of water could be the wild card in the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season as it is a large, anomalous area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperature water.
Atlantic Hurricane expert, Dan Kottlowski explains, “This blob of colder water started to show up a few years ago and has become larger and more persistent during the past couple of years.” Whether or not ocean currents draw cold water from this blob southward into tropical regions of the Atlantic could determine how active the season becomes.
With all potential factors being taken into consideration, Accuweather forecasters are predicting a total of 14 storms, two more than what is considered normal. Kottlowski says that it’s possible to flip from one extreme to another, from below-normal seasons as seen in the past three years, to an above-normal season this year.
According to a 2016 forecast prepared by Colorado State University, which was headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach in consultation with long-time hurricane expert Dr. William Gray, the 2016 hurricane season is calling for near-average activity in the Atlantic. For this season, the CSU forecast predicts a total of 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
Those seasonal forecast numbers do not include Hurricane Alex, a rare January hurricane that struck the Azores a few months back. Though the official hurricane season spans the months from June through November, occasionally storms form outside those months.
Klotzbach added that the northern Atlantic Ocean has water temperatures that are colder than average which can cause atmospheric conditions to be unfavorable for the development and strengthening of Atlantic hurricanes.
For the 2016 hurricane season, named storms include Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie and Walter.