Hi everyone, it's that time of year again where we start watching the tropical Pacific & the tropical Atlantic. Today marks the beginning of the 2016 eastern Pacific hurricane season. The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will officially begin on June 1.
As the eastern Pacific season begins, we are watching an area of disturbed weather well to the southwest of Mexico. At this time, there is only a low chance of development and no threat to any land.
Over the last three seasons, the Eastern Pacific has had 68 named storms while the Atlantic has had only 33 named storms. Over the last few seasons, the Atlantic basin has been plagued by by a host of issues including dry air, wind shear, below average water temperatures and even dust off the African continent. Last season, we observed higher than average wind shear across the Caribbean and the main development region of the Atlantic due to El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific. Current forecasts have the tropical Pacific moving into a La Niña state by the time we reach the peak of the upcoming hurricane season. This factor alone would favor increased activity in the Atlantic basin as lower wind shear could aid in more tropical waves becoming named systems. As you probably know, it takes several ingredients and the right recipe for the Atlantic to see above average activity. One of those ingredients, is the water temperatures across the Atlantic basin. Currently, the sea surface temperatures across most of the Atlantic basin is running above average (see image below).
This season, we are most concerned about the Gulf of Mexico and areas just off the eastern United States coast. In fact, we have not tracked a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since late September 2013 when Hurricane Ingrid made landfall in NE Mexico. There is a higher risk that we could have a hurricane somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico than the past few seasons due to lower wind shear and warmer than average sea surface temperatures.
We will be here throughout this new season with the most detailed updates and comprehensive information. Stay tuned to the Hurricane Tracker App for the latest updates on the tropics. We will be back with another blog post as conditions warrant. Thank you for using our service and we will see you very soon!