The season’s first forecast for Atlantic hurricanes in 2016 has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. After 10 years of below average activity, this year the expectation is for an “average” year. That is, a return to mean as recorded over the past 29 years of their data.
The strong El Nino effect in the Pacific during the past year has deflected storms and reduced winds aloft over the US mainland but is expected to weaken during this coming summer due to colder temperatures in the North Atlantic. By September the El Nino influence is expected to be gone, just in time for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, however, subsequently moderate La Nina conditions in late summer and fall could bring significant cooling.
We anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity. The current weakening El Niño is likely to transition to either neutral or La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. While the tropical Atlantic is relatively warm, the far North Atlantic is quite cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
– Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, Colorado State University 14 April, 2016
|Atlantic Hurricane Season||April 2016 forecast||Average|
|Named storms (>35mph winds)|| 12||12|
|Hurricanes (>72mph winds)||5||6.5|
|Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)||1||2|
|US landfall likelihood||50%||52%|
|Gulf Coast landfall probability||30%||30%|
|Major Hurricane in Caribbean probability||29%||42%|
|Manatee County hurricane landfall probability*||0.6%||0.7%|
|Manatee County tropical storm probability*||16.3%||17.1%|
|Manatee County >75mph wind gusts probability*||4.7%||5.0%|
The last hurricane effect in the Tampa Bay area was the Tarpon Springs hurricane of October, 1921. Anna Maria Island’s first bridge from Cortez, being constructed at the time, was damaged in the storm.