MIAMI, Aug. 17 (UPI) — The “meanest” stretch of the hurricane season, from mid-August to early October, is here, and “now the game starts,” says a weather expert.
Stanley Goldenberg, a research meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says all the conditions — warming tropical Atlantic waters, increased atmospheric moisture, diminishing upper level winds and robust tropical waves rolling off the coast of Africa –are in place, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday.
And La Nina, the large scale atmospheric force that promotes storm formation, is kicking in to add fuel, experts say.
As a result, forecasters are predicting 18 to 20 named storms, including 10 to 12 hurricanes, will develop this season.
They project five to six will be intense, with winds greater than 110 mph.
An average season, they say, sees 11 named storms, including six hurricanes, two of them intense.
The slow start this year shouldn’t make anyone complacent, Goldenberg says.
“People say in August, it sure seems quiet,” Goldenberg, who works for NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division in Miami, says. “I say just wait, the season hasn’t really gotten started.”
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