Since 1995, the Atlantic hurricane season has been generally far more active than it was in the decades prior thanks to a warmer Atlantic ocean and a generally favorable setup for the development of tropical cyclones in the tropics. The result has been seasons that have produced 15 or more named storms 11 times in 18 years, with each of the last three seasons producing 19 named storms.
This year projects to be another relatively active season in comparison to the average that's set up between 1995 and 2012. The lack of El Nino, which loomed as a possibility last year that never quite got going, plus warmer than average ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, may provide enough pop to get tropical systems to develop as we progress through the season. These were two of the factors that were cited in the Colorado State hurricane forecast that was released last week by Philip Klotzbach and William Gray.
Other forecasters that are out there are also in agreement about a generally active season -- four forecasts have been released, with North Carolina State, WeatherBell (Joe Bastardi), and Tropical Storm Risk.com all generally in agreement with Colorado State on an active season. Their forecasts aren't as aggressive as Colorado State but they generally suggest a season that's close to the eighteen year average of the active hurricane cycle we're in.
We'll provide our thoughts on the upcoming hurricane season in early May.