What you need to know about the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

First of all, it is important to get off to a good start. Fortunately, the long term, temperature-normal trends of the climate are positive, and are expected to be favorable for Atlantic hurricane development throughout the 2020s.

Throughout the 2020s, the mean Atlantic temperature is expected to increase by between 1 and 3 degree Celsius. The subtropical Atlantic, which is most favorable for hurricane development, is expected to rise by between 1 and 3 degree Celsius. For starters, this spells more active hurricane seasons.

The upper-level winds surrounding the eye of the storm are the biggest determinant of storm intensity and movement. Typically, the stronger the tropical cyclone’s center is, the stronger the winds that can blow from its center to the rest of the Atlantic. It is around this time of year when the strongest north-south wind shear becomes confined to the center of the storm. This is why it is important for tropical systems to form days in advance to prevent these wind shear issues. The “least favorable conditions for storm formation in the long term” arise when moderate shear is at its peak, and the winds of the storm are towards the edge of its tropical air.

North-south wind shear is another important feature in the development of hurricanes. A large section of the atmosphere sits closer to the boundary of tropical heat and northern air. These can vary vastly and can be a significant factor in determining the strength of the storm. In this case, the Hurricane Center is forecasting less shear than normal to dominate the upper-level winds and play a key role in the development of storms. If the pattern of development holds, it may be a good opportunity for the hurricane season to see an increase in storm formation.

In general, the potential remains high for strengthening storms during these next few months. We should monitor these conditions closely and remain alert for developing tropical systems. It is important to remember that cold fronts can disrupt storm activity as they move into the Atlantic.

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