On Thursday, Colorado State University’s “Tropical Meteorology Project” released its latest predictions about the current Atlantic hurricane season. The research group still anticipates an “above-average” season in terms of tropical activity.
The team at CSU notes that a strong “El Niño” weather pattern has become established. This meteorological phenomenon, which affects wind patterns and ocean water temperatures, typically helps to suppress the development of cyclones in the Atlantic due to high wind shear, which is unfavorable for the organization of a storm. However, extremely warm ocean water temperatures, which can add fuel to a cyclone, could help to strengthen the tropical systems that do develop.
“Given the conflicting signals between a likely moderate/strong El Niño and a much warmer than-normal tropical and subtropical Atlantic, the team stresses that there is more uncertainty than normal with this outlook,” according to the new update from CSU.
The Source reported on CSU’s previous tropical outlook, which was released back on July 6. At the time, 18 named storms were expected during the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season. That number has not changed.
A Relatively Quiet Season Thus Far
As of the writing of this article, there have been four named cyclones this hurricane season, as well as an unnamed subtropical storm that formed back in January. As of now, both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have not experienced significant impacts from any of the tropical waves or systems in the region. (The USVI and Puerto Rico watched Tropical Storm Bret closely back in June. However, the storm ultimately passed well to the south of the area.)
Nevertheless, it is important to note that historically, the most active month for cyclone development is in September. Therefore, it’s vital to be prepared in the event of any developing storms.
Virgin Islands residents and visitors can find information about weather alerts and emergency storm shelters from the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency. Weather updates from the National Hurricane Center will also constantly be posted on the Source Weather Page.
Click here to read a detailed list from the National Weather Service about hurricane preparedness.