Experts update predictions for rest of hurricane season

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Forecasters at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science have released their update to the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. The number of hurricanes was adjusted slightly to account for Barry, but overall the expectation is for an average rest of the year.

The report points to sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic remaining average, the decreased odds of a weak El Niño persisting through October and vertical wind shear in the Caribbean remaining relatively high.

“The probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean remains near its long-term average,” the report stated. Experts remind, however, that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season.

Researchers estimate that the balance of 2019 will have approximately 6 hurricanes, 12 named storms and 50.75 named storm days and 19.75 hurricane days. The average for hurricanes is 5.9 while named storms is 10.2, named storm days is 53.2 and hurricane days is 5.9.

Probable landfall for the entire U.S. coastline after July 31 is 53 percent compared to an average of 52 percent for the last century. Landfall for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula is predicted at 31 percent, which is the same as the average for the last century. The number is the same for storms making landfall between the Florida panhandle and Brownsville, Texas.

Temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic have been cooler and vertical wind shear across the Caribbean has been stronger in the past month, which has helped keep hurricanes at bay. “More active Atlantic hurricane seasons are generally characterized by lower shear, more moisture and warmer sea surface temperatures so current conditions in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean present mixed signals for the remainder of the season,” the report read.

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