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Hot Atlantic Could Heat Up Hurricane Season

The tropical Atlantic is hotter than ever, leading hurricane forecasters to maintain their predictions for an active hurricane season, despite its slow start. Tropical Atlantic...
July 28, 2010

The tropical Atlantic is hotter than ever, leading hurricane forecasters to maintain their predictions for an active hurricane season, despite its slow start. Tropical Atlantic sea temperatures have been 2 to 3 degrees warmer than normal since April. Paul Walker, senior meteorologist for Accuweather.com, said conditions for the hurricane season to fully begin have not come together. Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said tropical waves are just now beginning to increase in strength and frequency. Global weather patterns are shifting due to La Nina. This means that sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are cooling, which causes a shift in global rainfall, resulting in less wind shear in the Atlantic. Wind shear, which tears forming tropical storms apart, increases across the Atlantic in El Nino years, resulting in fewer hurricanes.

In May the National Hurricane Center predicted 14 to 23 named storms this year, with three to seven growing into major hurricanes. The center's next forecast will be released on August 5.

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