Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

El Nino's Absence May Fuel a Stormy Hurricane Season

El Nino's Absence May Fuel a Stormy Hurricane Season

Franklin strengthened into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Wednesday as it neared Mexico's central Gulf coast, heading for an overnight landfall that would be its second on Mexican territory in three days. That's slightly above the 11 to 17 named storms and two to four major hurricanes predicted at the start of the season.

'Wind patterns that are conducive to storm development are now in place across the tropical Atlantic, ' Bell said.

Also, there is significantly less likelihood that the weather phenomenon known as El Nino will form.

According to the NHC, there is a broad area of low pressure located about 300 miles east of the Turks and Caicos Islands that has a 40 percent chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a 60 percent chance of formation in the next five days.

A prediction for 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the initial May outlook.

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Officials say during the first nine weeks of the season there have been six tropical storms - which is already half the number of storms normally seen in an "average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August".

Mexico's long eastern coastline is often struck by storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. The new prediction ups the odds for a blustery, extremely active hurricane season - and possibly even the most active since 2010. "As we enter the height of hurricane season, it's important for everyone to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update their insurance and have a preparedness plan". (The storms were Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin and Gert).

In May, they predicted a 45 percent chance of an above normal season.

Hurricane Franklin has made landfall on the coast of Mexico. The right thing to do is to be prepared for such an event and not worry about it until there's an actual storm that might be a threat.

The waters are 'much warmer than average, about one to two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average, and there is high confidence that this warmth will persist, ' said Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead hurricane season forecaster, during a conference call with reporters.

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