Hurricane season promises to be especially active

  • Alberto, Helen or Kirk will be among the names that tropical storms will receive this year

  • The arrival of La Niña will be crucial to the intensity and frequency of hurricanes

We still have more than a month until the Atlantic hurricane season begins. Despite this, authorities are preparing for a year in which meteorological activity could be unusually high.

Season names. World Meteorological Office (WMO) Recently published The names Atlantic hurricanes will receive this year. These are, in order, Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debbie, Ernesto, Francine, Gordon, Helen, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Milton, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sarah, Tony, Valerie and William.

Tropical storms receive names when they are classified as such, that is, when they have strong winds About 62 kilometers per hour. When this speed approaches 120 km/h, the storm is classified as a hurricane. As is the case every year, the Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June 1 and end on November 30.

Meteorologists I enjoyed this ad To warn once again of an intense season in the Caribbean. The reason for this concern is the high temperatures that the Atlantic Ocean reaches, which has turned it into a potential factory for tropical storms.

Some estimates. A few weeks ago researchers from Colorado State University Give some estimates On the number of named tropical storms and hurricanes we could see this year. They estimate there could be about 23 named hurricanes, of which 11 could reach hurricane category and three reach special significance (Category 3 or higher).

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Thermal convergence. The temperature of the water on the ocean surface is one of the main factors in the occurrence of hurricanes. 2023 was a particularly warm year meteorologically, and record-breaking temperatures were the order of the day throughout the first months of 2024.

The long-term global trend we are seeing in temperatures may be one contributing factor to the state of the oceans. There is still little we know about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes, but there are signs that there is a positive relationship associated with this increase in temperatures.

From El Niño to La Niña. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is another factor making meteorologists skeptical about the intensity of this summer hurricane season. Over the past few months, this oscillation has manifested itself in the El Niño phase.

El Niño is a phase that contributes to increased temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which means an increase in the intensity of tropical cyclones in that ocean. In the Atlantic Ocean, La Niña is the point of the Southern Oscillation where more and more hurricanes can be expected.

The problem is that El Niño is in decline, and El Niño is expected to appear in the middle of hurricane season. This means that we can expect hurricane intensity to be greater toward the end of the season.

Until 2030. Hurricane names occur periodically (more or less). Hurricane names that are not eliminated this season will be used again in 2030.

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What causes a name to be ignored? The destruction it causes. Those tornadoes are especially deadly. Example Her name is Katrina. She retired in 2005 after the flood that occurred in New Orleans. That same year, the names Dennis, Rita, Stan and Wilma were retired. Most recently they were Dorian (2019); Laura, Etta, and Iota (2020); Ida (2021); Fiona and Ian (2022).

If the predictions come true, it is possible that this year we will see more names retired, although it would be desirable if we could repeat the list after the end of this decade.

In Chataka | Hurricanes have become so massive that we have no way to classify them

Image | Historical map of the occurrence of tropical storms in August for the period 1944-2020. Noah

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