2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season kicks off Thursday

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season kicks off Thursday
(Source: National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center)
(Source: National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season kicks off on Thursday, June 1.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting a likely chance of an above-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season this year.

Previous outlooks released by Colorado State University are forecasting a near-average or below-average hurricane season while others, like the National Hurricane Center, are forecasting more tropical activity.

Specifically, the NHC is predicting a 45-percent chance of an above-normal season, 35-percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 20-percent chance of a below-normal 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This same group of tropical forecasters are calling for 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.

Regardless, there is a higher-than-normal amount of uncertainty with the upcoming hurricane season due to the development, or perhaps lack of development, of El Nino. What initially looked like a guaranteed El Nino event has now become more uncertain.

This is important because the presence of El Nino would generally increase the amount of wind shear across the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Caribbean Sea; limiting the potential for tropical development and organization.

The absence of El Nino may mean weaker wind shear and a more favorable environment for tropical development. Factoring in the vast amount of warm water that is present across our oceans, the stage would be set for a more active 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1 to Nov. 30.

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