La Nina Conditions Likely To Become A Neutral ENSO Within The Next 1 To 2 Months & Remain Neutral Through The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
All signs are pointing towards our current La Nina to become neutral conditions either during February or March. These signs include ocean water temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Pacific, which are gradually warming up to near normal levels. I do think that there is a very good chance that we will see these neutral ENSO conditions persist through the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, however, I’m not convinced that we will see the development of a new El Nino this year, even though some of the climate models suggest the development of a El Nino during this summer or autumn.
There is a large difference between the ENSO climate models with their forecasts. The European model has 80 percent of its members forecasting the development of a El Nino by May or June. On the other hand, most of the CFS model members are forecasting neutral conditions through this summer and autumn. As I have already mentioned, I am leaning much more towards the idea of a neutral ENSO starting during either February or March and continuing through this summer and autumn. One big reason why I don’t think we’ll see a El Nino this year is because a quick turnaround from La Nina to a El Nino is rare.
What Does This Mean For The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season? I still think that the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season may be near or slightly above average. This means that there is still the potential for 12 to 14 named storms with 5 to 7 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 2 to 3 of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes. This forecast is based on the following: (1) A neutral ENSO; (2) Above average amounts of unstable air; (3) An active phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO).
Now, if, and that is a big if, we see the development of a El Nino during this summer or autumn, it could mean a quieter hurricane season than what I am forecasting right now.