Highly uncertain forecast for hurricane season, which starts today (includes video story)

The National Weather Service forecast for hurricane season this year is highly uncertain, partly due to global warming and El Niño atmospheric conditions. 

Starting June 1, the NWS has forecasted 12 to 17 named storms. It advises that there is a 30% chance of a below-average hurricane season. 

Still, South Florida should stay on the lookout for, said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season outlook forecaster for NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. 

“South Florida does have some of the highest odds of being struck by a hurricane of any part of the country,” he commented.” So given that we have 12 to 17 forecasted storms I would start preparing now for your hurricane season.”  

El Niño, an Atlantic atmospheric phenomenon affecting oceanic surface temperatures, creates unfavorable conditions for the formation of major tropical cyclones. But it also introduces high levels of uncertainty for current hurricane prediction models. 

Rosencrans advises gathering disaster preparedness supplies like bottled water, self-power light sources, and non-perishable foods as soon as possible.

“It’s easier to prepare now and to get to the grocery store and the home center when not everyone’s trying to go there all at once,” said Rosecrans.

Samuel Larreal is a Venezuelan journalism student with a concentration in political science and international relations. He is interested in reporting on human rights, immigration and civic freedom.