Start stocking up on batteries and bottled water.
Forecasters agree: The coming Atlantic hurricane season looks like a busy one.
A number of factors, principally higher-than-normal temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean where most tropical storms form, indicate this season will see a flurry of tropical activity.
“A wild season is on the way,” predicted Joe Bastardi, a noted hurricane forecaster with Weather Bell, a weather website.
That viewpoint was affirmed Wednesday when longtime seasonal forecasters William Gray and Phil Klotzbach, of Colorado State University, issued their first numerical prediction for the upcoming season, which begins June 1.
They are calling for 18 named storms, nine of which will be hurricanes and four of which will develop into major hurricanes. That’s about 50 percent more activity than during a normal season.
Klotzbach said the only potential check on activity this year is the slight chance that an El Niño might develop in the tropical Pacific, which would tend to limit Atlantic hurricane activity.
“I would say that we have moderate confidence in an active season at this point,” Klotzbach said. “There’s still a lot that could change with El Niño. If the tropical Pacific and tropical Atlantic look similar at the beginning of June to the way that they do now, I would say that our confidence would grow significantly.”
This season follows three years in which an anomalously high number of named storms – 19 – have formed.
The good news from our perspective is that the storms are likely to head north before entering the Gulf. That’s potentially very bad news for a lot of other people, though, and as well all know it only takes one big storm to make it a bad year. Not much else we can do except be prepared and hope for the best. SciGuy and Hair Balls have more.