A little more than a month ago the experts at Colorado State released their 2014 Hurricane Forecast. Their numbers were quite a bit lower than a typical hurricane season...
Part of why the 2013 forecast for an active hurricane season was such a bust was because of a large decrease in the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation. You can go science geek and read more about it here... http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Includes/Documents/Publications/2013season_short.pdf
The reason for the quiet 2014 forecast is because of a predicted strong El Nino event this Fall/Winter. Experts say it 'could' be as strong as the Winter 1997/1998 El Nino. You might reminder that El Nino is a pool of abnormally warm water over the equatorial Pacific that causes changes in weather patterns around the world. Typically here in the SE U.S. we see stormier weather with less favorable winds in the Atlantic for hurricane activity. You can learn more about this in the below YouTube video...
This Thursday NOAA will release it's forecast for the 2014 season. While it may be different than the Colorado State Forecast expect for it to be average or slightly below after as well because of the predicted El Nino.
Ragardless, it is always important to note that no matter how many or few storms develop that it only takes 1 storm to have a very bad hurricane. 1992 was a very quiet hurricane season... except 1... Hurricane Andrew. Do you think the folks in S. FL. thnk that that was a 'quiet season'? We need to prepare the same every year!
One enhancement you may notice this year will be that the NHC will issue a Potential Storm Surge Flooding map. This will be issued when a 'watch' is issued for an area. It will be meant to give a worst case scenario for a given storm in a given area.
Finally, here is the list of the names and pronunciations for the Atlantic storms this year...
Gonzalo gohn- SAH-loh
I will post another outlook for the season ahead as we get closer to June 1st. If you ever have any questions regarding hurricanes or any other type of weather do not hesitate to contact me.
Chief Meteorologist, WJHG-TV