AccuWeather issues first forecast for 2010 tropical season
Several factors contribute to this forecast of an increase in the number of storms for this year including a weakening of El Nino in the Pacific.
2010 Hurricane Season Will Be More Active, Joe Bastardi Predicts (AccuWeather)
At the end of last season, your humble hurricane hobbyist speculated that the unusually low activity 2009 Atlantic hurricane season was caused by the presence of a strong El Nino in the Pacific. Blame El Nino for 2009 tropical season (Part 1) and 2009 Atlantic tropical wrap-up discussed how El Nino surpressed Atlantic tropical activity primarily by driving an increase in upper level wind shear that prevented storms from forming and broke apart those storms that did form.
AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by Chief Long-Range Meteorologist and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi, have released their early hurricane season forecast for the Atlantic Basin for 2010.
The forecast is calling for a much more active 2010 season with above-normal threats on the U.S. coastline.
There are a number of physical drivers that have Bastardi concerned for this upcoming hurricane season.
--The rapidly weakening El Niño
--Warmer ocean temperatures in the typical Atlantic tropical breeding grounds compared to last year (tropical storms draw energy from warm water)
--Weakening trade winds which reduce the amount of dry air injected into the tropics from Africa--Higher humidity levels which provide additional upward motion in the air and fuel tropical storm development.
El Nino also contributed to the rather cold and harsh winter much of the US and Europe experienced this year as well.
Now with El Nino expected to break apart as the tropical season comes into force, hurricane formation can be expected to increase. Likewise, the Eastern Pacific may experience a little relief but it is really too early to tell.
We suspect that we will be busier in 2010 and we all have to keep a weather eye out for approaching storm systems.