The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released Thursday April 14th by specialists from Colorado State University calls for the number of named storms and hurricanes to be near historical averages.
A total of 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes are expected this season, according to the forecast prepared by CSU, which is headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach in consultation with long-time hurricane expert Dr. William Gray.
This is close to the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
2013 and 2014 featured prohibitive dry air and/or wind shear during a significant part of the season, but El Niño was nowhere to be found.
In 2015, El Niño likely played a significant suppressing role in the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. Klotzbach found that June through October 2015 Caribbean wind shear was the highest on record dating to 1979. Klotzbach also said the magnitude of dry air over the Caribbean Sea in the peak season month of August and September also set a record.
Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
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