The April forecast for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season calls for an average active season, according to Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray in association with the Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science. The professors released their forecast on Thursday.
“We anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity. The current weakening El Niño is likely to transition to either neutral or La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.
“While the tropical Atlantic is relatively warm, the far North Atlantic is quite cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.
“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.”
The first storm of the season formed in January and became Hurricane Alex. The next named system will be called Bonnie.
“Information obtained through March 2016 indicates that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity near the median 1981-2010 season. We emphasize that there is large uncertainty in this prediction due to the factors that we outline in the following pages.
“We estimate that 2016 will have an additional 5 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 12 named storms (median is 12.0), 50 named storm days (median is 60.1), 20 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 2 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 4 major hurricane days (median is 3.9).
“The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 90 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2016 to be approximately 95 percent of their long-term averages.
“This forecast is based on an extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed utilizing 29 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We anticipate an average Atlantic basin hurricane season. While shear enhancing El Niño conditions are likely to dissipate in the next several months, the far North Atlantic is quite cold. These cold anomalies tend to force atmospheric conditions that are less conducive for Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification.
“Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” the forecasters pointed out.
The other names of for potential storm systems for the season are:
Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter.