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Do 2 Pacific Hurricanes in 4 Days Spell Trouble in Atlantic, Too?

Do 2 Pacific Hurricanes in 4 Days Spell Trouble in Atlantic, Too?

Hurricane on Earth viewed from space. (Allexxandar/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 15 June 2018 12:03 PM

Do two Pacific hurricanes in four days spell out trouble for the Atlantic too?

Many have been wondering this after the formation of two powerful storms, Aletta and Bud, in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The answer is not so simple though, said Jonathan Erdman, a senior meteorologist at weather.com.

A quick analysis of storms occurring since 1971 show there were 10 other years in which the first two named storms to occur in the eastern Pacific basin were hurricanes.

In those 10 years, Erdman noted that the number of Atlantic named storms and hurricanes was almost exactly on par with the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010 however, there was still a range in the number of storms and hurricanes between those years.

"So, this isn't terribly helpful from a seasonal forecast perspective," Erdman said.

The El Ni�o and La Ni�a effect may also influence the hurricane activity in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic.

The El Ni�o produces warmer-than-average water temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean while La Ni�a causes cooler-than-average temperatures.

What this means is that, the El Ni�o "decreases the vertical wind shear over the tropical central Pacific, which favors the development of more and stronger tropical cyclones," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

"El Ni�o also favors more westward-tracking storms from the eastern Pacific into the central Pacific."

Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, previously noted that, should El Ni�o develop, "it may become strong enough to produce an above-normal season."

The opposite is true for the Atlantic, where increased wind shear produced by stronger El Ni�os could suppress the numbers of named storms and hurricanes, Erdman said.

In states of La Ni�a meanwhile, the impacts are reversed.

The final conclusion? That there is no solid conclusion.

Dr. Michael Ventrice, atmospheric scientist at The Weather Company, an IBM Business, said that having two Category 4 hurricanes kick off the eastern Pacific season could not gauge predictability in Atlantic hurricane activity.

"Residents near the coast should prepare each year, no matter what seasonal outlooks say, and no matter how the season starts in another basin," Erdman added.

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The formation of two hurricanes in the eastern Pacific Ocean in four days has many wondering whether to brace for a strong Atlantic hurricane season.
pacific, hurricanes, atlantic, season
Friday, 15 June 2018 12:03 PM
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