[QODLink]
Weather
Hurricane season is just around the corner
Forecasters are predicting that the 2012 season could have less storms than average
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2012 10:11
Rina was one of the last storms of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season [NOAA]

The forecast for the 2012 hurricane season is out and the experts predict that it will be a below average year for storms.

The Colorado State University forecast team, led by the renowned Dr. William Gray, has been studying the tropics since the 1980’s and has been issuing yearly forecasts on storm probabilities.

In a 42 page report issued on 4 April, Dr. Gray and his team looked at dozens of factors that go into the yearly forecast calculations. Their prognosis is that 2012’s hurricane season should have fewer storms than average.

The biggest factor for this determination is that the tropical Atlantic has cooled over the past several months. Tropical systems feed and develop on warm water from the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. If those water temperatures are expected to be cooler, then the energy for these storms is less.

Even with lower numbers expected this year, Dr. Gray points out that, “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”.

In an average year there would be 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. For 2012 those numbers drop to a forecasted 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

Dr. Gray and his team are not the only research office that put out these forecasts. In the next few weeks other agencies such as Pennsylvania State University, the National Hurricane Center and Weather Systems International will also join in with their forecasts. 

While hurricanes are to blame for millions of dollars in damage and countless deaths, they are also responsible for bringing much needed seasonal rain to areas. For example northern Mexico and Texas are regions that rely on that tropical moisture. Without it, they face droughts, which both are currently experiencing.

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off at the start of June and carries on through the end of November.

 

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.