May 22, 2014 11:29 AM by Dave Baker
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released it's annual Hurricane Forecast this morning in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan made the announcement saying El Nino will have a significant effect on the number of storms we'll see develop over the Atlantic Basin in 2014. El Nino is an area of above normal sea surface temperatures over the Pacific Ocean off of the South American continent. The El Nino effect has been shown to alter global weather patterns including the formation of hurricanes over the Atlantic Basin.
During a moderate to strong El Nino, upper level winds over the Atlantic Ocean tend to be stronger. These stronger winds tend to shear apart or weaken developing tropical systems. El Nino years have shown a reduction in the total numbers of storms most of the time, but not always. Also, even with lower total counts, strong hurricanes have developed including 1992's Hurricane Andrew. Andrew was the first storm of the 1992 season in late August. It devastated much of south Florida and Louisiana. Until the 2005 season, it was the costliest hurricane in U.S. history.
Other officials speaking at the conference this morning continued to say, "It only takes one..." meaning even though the counts may be lower this year, everyone needs to stay prepared. Hurricane season begins June 1st and ends November 30th.