This week, the Atlantic hurricane season started off strongly. Confirming the predictions of NOAA that the hurricane season of 2020 will be wild, people of the United States already got to experience a very powerful hurricane.
Running from the beginning of June to the end of November, the peak of this series of hurricanes can be observed in late August and September. Just a couple of days in to this year’s hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center announced that a tropical depression observed in the Gulf of Mexico is officially known as the Tropical Storm Cristobal. By the second day after the beginning of the season, on June 2nd, three extremely powerful storms were experienced.
Tropical Storm Cristobal has already caused massive destruction including deadly floods in Guatemala and El Salvador, and heavy rains in Southern Mexico and Honduras. Due to the wild storms, the army has evacuated 138 people in Campeche, Mexico, while around 22 deaths were reported from Guatemala and El Salvador.
Therefore, by analyzing many climatic factors prevailing throughout the planet, the NOAA has arrived at the conclusion that this year’s hurricane season will be be 60% stronger than the normal season.
These extra-powerful hurricanes are mostly linked to the El Niño Southern Oscillation. This demonstrates the temperature fluctuations among the atmosphere in East-Central Equatorial Pacific and the ocean, while impacting the weather and climatic conditions of the whole planet. When the warmest waters surface offshore of northwestern South America, it’s referred to as El Niño. On the contrary, when waters below the average-temperature surface across the east-central Pacific, it’s called La Niña.
El Niño provides a major contribution for the strengthening of hurricane activity in central and eastern basins of the Pacific, and for the suppression of the Atlantic basin. But such conditions will not be observed this year.
Additionally, many other factors like sea-surface temperatures which are greater than average values in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean sea, tropical Atlantic trade winds that are weaker than usual, and the enhanced west African monsoons: all of them suggest that the Atlantic hurricane season will be stronger than usual.
According to Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, NOAA will be upgrading their hurricane-specific Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast System (HWRF) and the Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean coupled Non-hydrostatic model (HMON), this summer, in order to provide accurate information about the upcoming hurricanes.