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On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center updated its hurricane outlook for the rest of the season (which goes through November) and determined that because the summer’s weak El Niño has faded, the season will be more active than previously forecast.The Associated Press reported that as the “peak” of hurricane season begins they are now expecting 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones, up from their May forecast of one or two fewer named storms and hurricanes. Yikes!
Why This Matters: The “small” change of one or two “more” major storms could mean a huge difference in lives lost (Hurricane Maria) or financial losses (Hurricane Michael). The good news is that the forecast precision is improving — with more time to prepare and more accurate prediction of where a storm will make landfall. The bad news is that each of these storms has the potential to be debilitating — particularly if one were to hit a major metropolitan area.
The Climate Prediction Center had said it expected 12 named storms and three major hurricanes based on the continued presence of an El Niño, which is the warm Pacific Ocean water pattern that tends to suppress hurricane activity — they expected the El Niño to persist into October.
Specifically, the Prediction Center “raised the likelihood of an above-normal season in the Atlantic to 45 percent, up from 30 percent in the May forecast” and “the chances of a below-normal season have dropped to just 20 percent,” The Times reported.
Mega-storms caused by atmospheric rivers were once thought to be once-in-a-millennia occurrences, but atmospheric rivers are flooding California more frequently due to the warming atmosphere. The latest mega-storm may put a dent in the mega-drought, but experts say California may be trapped in a vicious wet/dry cycle. It may not be time for Californians to build an ark just yet, but climate-resilient infrastructure would […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer After a record-breaking drought, much of the West and Southwest has been hoping for a winter of rain. But with scientists predicting a second consecutive winter with La Niña conditions, the dry spell may be prolonged. La Niña is a climate pattern that tends to produce droughts in the […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor As California’s summer fire season comes to a close, autumn’s Santa Ana winds have intensified a fast-moving wildfire now terrorizing Santa Barbara County. The Alisal fire began Monday afternoon. Since then, it has engulfed 16,801 acres and is only 5% contained, according to CalFire. As a result, a portion […]
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