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Weather Wise: Hurricane Season

They are the climate pattern phases across the tropical Pacific Ocean near the equator and can impact weather patterns across the globe.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are many forecasts out calling for an active and above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year, and let’s look at a couple of reasons why

You’ve probably heard of El Nino and La Nina? 

They are the climate pattern phases across the tropical Pacific Ocean near the equator and can impact weather patterns across the globe. El Nino is the warm phase, with warmer than normal waters over the east-central Pacific Ocean.

La Nina is the cool phase, with below-normal sea surface temperatures.  when ocean water temperatures are not above or below normal, we call this a neutral phase. This pattern of above and below normal phases is called the El Nino southern oscillation or enso for short. These sea surface temperature variations mostly impact our winter weather patterns but can also influence the Atlantic hurricane season.

An El Nino typically provides less Atlantic hurricane activity, while neutral or la Nina promotes a more active season. A neutral phase is expected this summer and early fall. 

The other big reason this year could be very active, is that the sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic are already well above normal.  the warmer the ocean, the more fuel there is for tropical activity and possibly hurricanes.   the national oceanic and atmospheric administration won’t have their official forecast out until May 21, but signs are already pointing toward a busy Atlantic tropical season.

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