LA NINA ENDING, EL NINO THIS FALL?


During last year’s hurricane season, severe storms were mainly in the Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico regions and in the Atlantic off the U.S. coast. While La Nina conditions are one factor that enhances the hurricane threat, our area was spared a big blow mainly by surface high pressures over the eastern U.S. plus middle and upper level westerly wind shear, mainly associated with the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations.

By the start of this year’s hurricane season, neutral conditions are expected in the balance between La Nina and El Nino in the Pacific, but the trend leans towards an El Nino effect by fall. The peak of the hurricane season this year may be influenced by a typical El Nino upper level shear, but other factors such as the long wave westerlies, the Bermuda high pressure ridge, and surface synoptic patterns will be other parts olf the puzzle to be reviewed as the season commences.

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