This year's storm names: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince, Wilma
Some of the highlights:
For the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season the ACE index is expected to be in the range of 120%-190% of the median. The outlook also calls for 12-15 tropical storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 of these becoming major hurricanes [categories 3-4-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale]. While it is reasonable to expect this range of tropical storms and hurricanes, the total seasonal activity measured by the ACE index can certainly be in the predicted range without all three of these criteria being met.
Over the North Atlantic, key aspects of the multi-decadal signal expected during the 2005 hurricane season include 1) lower surface air pressure, warmer SSTs, and increased moisture across the central and eastern tropical Atlantic, 2) an amplified subtropical ridge at upper levels across the central and eastern North Atlantic, 3) reduced vertical wind shear in the deep tropics over the central North Atlantic, which results from an expanded area of easterly winds in the upper atmosphere (green arrows) and weaker easterly trade winds in the lower atmosphere (dark blue arrows), and 4) a configuration of the African easterly jet (wavy light blue arrow) that favors hurricane development from tropical disturbances moving westward from the African coast.
Based on the most recent ENSO outlook issued by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, ENSO-neutral conditions are expected in the tropical Pacific through at least the first half of the hurricane season. Therefore, the ENSO phenomenon is not expected to impact this hurricane season.
Make sure you're ready for the season!