PEI

Atlantic hurricane season expected to be more active

Environment Canada is predicting an average to above average named storm season this year in the Atlantic Ocean.

Environment Canada says average to above average storm season expected

Environment Canada is predicting an average to above average hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean this year. (NOAA/Reuters)

Islanders should keep their umbrellas handy as a bit of a "more active" hurricane season is being forecast this year in the Atlantic Ocean.

"An average year, hurricane-wise, is about 12 named storms. That's what we typically get in the Atlantic Ocean in a typical year," Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Tuesday on CBC News: Compass.

"We're expecting anywhere between 10 and 16 named storms this season."

Bob Robichaud of Environment Canada says more storms in the Atlantic Ocean are expected as we transition to a La Niña weather system. (CBC)

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, four to eight of those storms could become hurricanes. Of those, one to four could be major with winds over 178 km/h.

Robichaud said the three storms in the Atlantic since January are included in the average-to-above-average overall prediction. Also, the three to date is higher than the 50-year average, which is between zero and one storms. 

From El Niño to La Niña

Last year's El Niño weather conditions contributed to 11 storms. But Robichaud noted this season El Niño is moving to La Niña conditions.

"When we typically get into an El Niño condition, which is an area of warm water in the Pacific [Ocean], we get fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic, and it's a complicated relationship," he explained. 

"That El Niño is no longer there this year, and we are actually transitioning to the opposite of El Niño, which is called La Niña. When we get into that scenario, we tend to get a few more storms."

Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1.

With files from Compass

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