Apr 10, 2014 11:56 AM by Rob Perillo
Renown Colorado State forecasters Drs Gray and Klotzbach issued their 2014 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Seasonal forecast today at the Tropical Weather Conference in South Padre Island today.
Thanks to an increasingly expected formation of an El Niño circulation in the Pacific Basin and cooler than normal Atlantic oceanic circulations, the season is expected to below normal.
The team is forecasting 9 tropical storms, 3 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane this year. The normal is 12, 6 and 2 respectively.
Typically an El Niño pattern produces stronger than normal winds aloft across the Atlantic Basin and this shear diminishes the number of tropical formations and mitigates intensity of storms.
Lower than normal forecast numbers however do not indicate that Louisiana and Acadiana will be less vulnerable to storms this season as El Niño has less of an influencing factor for Gulf of Mexico storms.
In fact, Dr. Klotzbach cited "analog" or similar years where the pattern leading up to the season where similar, were 1957, 1963, 1965, 1997 and 2002.
In 1957 Louisiana is devastated by Hurricane Audrey, Hilda came in between 1963-1965, and in 1965 Hurricane Betsy devastated SE Louisiana and the New Orleans area.
In 1997, Hurricane Danny, a Category 1 storm slammed SE Louisiana.
The most recent analog year, 2002, Acadiana saw a direct hit from Hurricane Lili.
The take away is that although the season is expected to be less active, it only takes one storm in your backyard to make it a very busy season.
Residents are cautioned to prepare equally for every hurricane season having a plan in place and supplies ready.
Hurricane season officially starts June 1st and ends November 30. Prime season for Acadiana is generally from the 2nd week in August through the first week of October...but Audrey in 1957 was the strongest storm so early in the season on June 26, 1957. At landfall Audrey was a category 3/4 at landfall along the SW Louisiana Coast and responsible for taking more than 500 lives.