GERMANTOWN, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Earth Networks released its 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook which forecasts a near normal hurricane season. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and covers the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.
After a busy 2018 season with 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes, last year will be remembered for hurricanes Florence and Michael which caused nearly $50 billion in damages in the Carolinas and the Florida Panhandle.
For 2019 the Earth Networks Meteorology Team predicts 10 to 14 named storms to form, with four to seven becoming hurricanes and two to three of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph. This is very close to the long-term Atlantic season average.
“Despite a weak El Niño this year, we are expecting a near normal hurricane season for 2019,” said Anthony Sagliani, Earth Networks Meteorologist. “This is due to an abundance of warm water found in the Gulf of Mexico and across the subtropical Atlantic, including off the Southeast U.S. coast.”
The wildcard is the lingering El Niño, a periodic development of warmer than normal water temperatures across the equatorial Pacific Ocean west of South America. This periodic change in the Pacific Ocean affects weather patterns throughout the Pacific Basin and contributes to increased wind shear, or winds changing direction and intensity with altitude, in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin.
Wind shear makes it difficult for tropical systems to develop and the ones that develop often have trouble growing. This helps counteract the increased Atlantic hurricane activity seen in the past decade and a half enhanced by a multidecadal climate cycle affecting Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures.
However, El Niño could weaken and diminish just in time for the hurricane peak and combined with abundant warm water in the tropical regions, could produce an uptick in hurricane activity.
Watch the 2019 Atlantic Season Hurricane Outlook or Contact Earth Networks for more information. Please also register for the upcoming Earth Networks 2019 Summer Outlook which will be presented in a live webinar on May 23, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET.
About Earth Networks
Earth Networks helps organizations mitigate financial, operational and human risk by providing environmental intelligence from the world’s largest hyperlocal weather network. Schools, airports, sports teams, utilities and government agencies rely on our early warning solutions to safeguard lives, prepare for weather events and optimize operations. Companies across all industries use our weather data to automate decisions regarding risk management, business continuity, and asset protection.