There's now a 60 percent chance that the 2017 hurricane season will be brutal


  • Photo via NOAA
Just this morning, the New York Times obtained a draft of the 2017 U.S. Global Change Research Program's Climate Science Special Report, and it's as bleak as you can imagine.

For example, in just the last 30 years, the global average temperature has increased by more than 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The cause? Humans. The report states that we humans are responsible for 92 to 123 percent of the rise in temperature between 1951-2010.

And with warmer temperatures, weather becomes more extreme.

The 669-page report states that cold waves are dropping and the frequency of heat waves have dramatically increased. "Recent droughts and associated heat waves have reached record intensity in some regions of the United States," the report says.

This also means that our oceans are getting warmer. According to the report, oceans have been absorbing excess heat from greenhouse gas warming since the mid-20th century.

So, the timing of today's planned update to the 2017 hurricane forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seems almost poetic, especially since they're now saying it's very likely to be "the most active since 2010."
NOAA forecasters updated their previous outlook from last May (which had a 45 percent chance of an above-average outlook), and are now saying this season will likely have 14 to 19 named storms and two to five major hurricanes.

"We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. "The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is in part because the chance of an El Niño forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May."
Bell also stated that an above-normal season is likely because of warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic.

So far this season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, there have been six named storms – half the number of storms during an average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August, according to NOAA.

An average Atlantic hurricane season normally produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

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