(WAFB) - Many of the 2019 hurricane season forecasts note the possibility of a weak El Niño continuing into the hurricane season. An El Niño could mean good news for the entire Atlantic Basin.
It occurs when warmer than normal sea surface temperatures persist in the eastern tropical Pacific waters. This results in an increased amount of wind shear moving east over the Atlantic Ocean.
The higher than normal wind shear generally results in a lower number of tropical systems, but does not mean systems can’t or won’t form. Recently, NOAA’s climate prediction center forecast a 60 percent chance that El Niño will continue into the summer months.
Statistical and dynamical models are slightly more optimistic for an El Niño event, giving a 66-percent chance that El Niño continues into the first part of hurricane season. But being in an El Niño phase does not mean south Louisiana can lower its guard.
In 1992, an El Niño hurricane season only produced seven named storms.
One of those storms in was Hurricane Andrew, which smashed into St. Mary Parish late August in 1992 as a Category 3 hurricane.