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Warnings about an intense Atlantic US hurricane season due to warmer waters

Warnings about an intense Atlantic US hurricane season due to warmer waters

climate change

A satellite image taken on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, shows Tropical Storm Bret as it chugged toward the eastern Caribbean. Photo credit: NOAA.

By Anders Lorenzen

A forecast by Colorado State University (CSU) has warned about an intense US Atlantic hurricane season due to record-warm sea surface temperatures.

The Atlantic hurricane season began on the 1st and June and lasts until the 30th of November and the forecast predicts a total of 18 named storms that will produce nine hurricanes – four of which could become major storms with winds of 179 kilometres per hour (179 kph).

Record warm sea surface temperatures

In its update Colorado State’s Tropical Meteorology and Climate Research Group said most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic now has record warm sea surface temperatures and are the primary reason for the increase in our forecast numbers.’

In addition, due to the effect of El Nino, the weather phenomenon that suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity, this year has been offset by very hot ocean waters. 

Warm waters fuel more energetic storms by putting more vapour into the air, which can produce more intense precipitation.

In June average sea surface temperatures across the North Atlantic were 0.91 degrees Celsius higher than the average for 1991-2020, and half a degree greater than the previous warmest June, data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, which tracks ocean and air temperatures, has announced. 

Scientists have become increasingly concerned about the scale at which the world’s oceans have warmed and what that means for irreversible climate tipping points.

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