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2015 HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST LOOKS UNCERTAIN DUE TO EL NINO

2015 HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST LOOKS UNCERTAIN DUE TO EL NINO

February 9, 20151063Views

Forecasters
have indicated their uncertainty about how the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season
will look if the currently developing weak El Niño persists throughout the
summer months.

This
initial uncertainty comes ahead of the first quantitative forecast for 2015
which will be issued on April 9.

Though
uncertain of actual projections at this point, research scientists at the
Colorado State University (CSU) believe that we are still in an active era for
Atlantic basin tropical cyclones which started in 1995. CSU’s Philip J.
Klotzbach and Professor William M. Gray also expect that typical conditions
associated with a positive Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) and strong
thermohaline circulation (THC) will return in 2015.

According
to the CSU, AMO refers to the natural variability that occurs in the North
Atlantic Ocean and which is evidenced through fluctuations in sea surface
temperature and sea level pressure fields. The AMO is related to fluctuations
in the strength of the oceanic thermohaline circulation which in turn is driven
by fluctuations in salinity and temperature. When the THC is stronger than
normal, the AMO tends to be in its warm (or positive) phase and more Atlantic
hurricanes typically form.

The
forecasters are considering four possible scenarios w
hich
range from
THC
circulation becoming unusually strong and no El Niño event occurring, resulting
in a 10% chance of seasonal average net tropical cyclone (NTC) activity with
the development of 14 to 15 named storms to the other extreme of THC becoming
weaker along with the development of a significant El Niño, resulting in NTC of
40 and a 10% chance that five to seven
named storms will develop.

Despite
the current uncertainty, Director of the Department of Disaster Management, Ms.
Sharleen DaBreo has stressed the need for early preparations for the 2015
season, noting that tropical cyclone activity can occur at any time throughout
the June 1 to November 30 hurricane season and the increasing occurrence of hazard
events outside of the established season.

 “We
cannot be complacent; we must be ready at all times,” Ms. DaBreo said, adding,
“We live in an area of the world that is vulnerable to natural hazard impacts
and the only way to ensure that we are able to recover from these events is to
be in a constant state of readiness.”


Not only is the department encouraging
early preparations, it is leading the charge by initiating the planning process
earlier.


 “Our work plan for 2015 has been completed and
we have been holding meetings with our sector partners to discuss the activities
planned for the year. We are planning better and we hope to be much more
efficient than last year in our efforts to ensure that we are able to respond
and recovery quickly,” Ms. DaBreo stated.


The underlying concept in the current
Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy and Programming Framework is to
develop SMART communities.


Ms. DaBreo affirmed that, “The DDM
will continue to promote the use of sustainable, mitigation, adaption and
resilient techniques (SMART) to ensure that we are making structured efforts
towards addressing the impacts of hazards, climate change and the emerging
health hazards that are affecting our communities.”