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"Blockbuster" Hurricane Season?

AccuWeather meteorologists sound the alarm as warm water and El Nino raise concerns in the Gulf


BRADENTON — While the Atlantic hurricane season does not officially start until June 1, there are already "serious and growing concerns" about the impending season, AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter recently said.

Two factors have forecasters sounding the alarms: The return of La Niña and historically warm water across the Atlantic Ocean.

"The current El Niño pattern that is in place is forecast to transition into a La Niña pattern during the second half of the hurricane season," Porter explained. La Niña typically leads to more tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic due to reduced wind shear or disruptive winds high in the atmosphere.

The tail end of the season could see the most action, as La Niña might not develop until late summer or early autumn.

"The second half of the hurricane season is likely to be very active, as conditions will be more favorable for tropical systems," AccuWeather Long-Range Expert Paul Pastelok said.

Warm water is the fuel for hurricanes, and all signs are pointing toward potentially record-shattering warmth across the Atlantic hurricane basin during the summer and fall. As of mid-February, the water temperatures across the Atlantic were at the same level as in mid-July.


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