June 1 marks the first day of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has released an update of their April outlook. This new outlook shows that the Tropical Atlantic will be more active than originally thought. Dr. Phil Klotzbach, the lead research scientists behind the forecast, described the reason for the changing numbers in the latest update to us. “Basically, the odds of a moderate El Nino event look to have diminished, and the tropical and subtropical Atlantic have anomalously warmed,” said Dr. Klotzbach.
The updated outlook also shows slightly greater-than-normal chances of landfalling storms on the US coastline. According to the updated outlook, there’s a 55% chance of 1 major (Category 3 or greater) hurricane making landfall along the US coast, which is higher than the 52% average for the last century. The US East Coast, including Florida, has a 33% chance of seeing such a storm while the Gulf coast has a 32% chance; the average for those two coasts is 31% and 30% respectively. The probability for at least one major hurricane to track into the Caribbean is now 44% compared to the average of 42% for the last century.
The updated outlook calls for 14 storms and 6 hurricanes, up from the call for 11 storms and 4 hurricanes made earlier this year. While odds of a US landfall are up, the outlook does not forecast specific storm tracks or impact zones for the season. But outlook authors do warn Americans to be prepared. “As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their own tropical weather outlook. They too are calling for an active season.
This season, be sure to bookmark the Weatherboy Hurricane & Tropical Weather page here. The page will have storm data and forecast tracks for every storm in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic Ocean for the 2017 Hurricane Season.
The full updated forecast can be found here: http://tropical.colostate.edu/