As everyone knows, this year was the year of El Niño, the Pacific-borne weather pattern that has resulted in disruptive weather over most of the country this year.
Will El Niño result in stronger hurricanes in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season?
El Niño has wreaked havoc across our hemisphere, but should start to weaken this spring and gradually disappear. Experts speculate that this weakening could result in changes to the Atlantic that could have an impact on hurricane season this year.
This is potentially bad news because a strong El Niño is what helped to suppress the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, resulting in a below-average year for us (no major hurricanes hit our area). There were just 11 named storms that appeared last year, and none of them threatened Florida. It’s actually the first time in 21 years that we had two back-to-back, below-average years.
To answer the possibility of whether or not a post-El Niño season would be stronger, the folks over at Weather.com looked at five years that followed a strong El Niño cycle: 1998, 1983, 1973, 1966, and 1958.
The worst year was 1998, in which there were 14 named storms, 3 Category 3+ hurricanes, and three landfalls on the U.S. This was the year of Hurricanes Bonnie, Earl, and Georges – not one of the worst years we’ve ever seen, but not a year like 2015.
Experts have said that the chances of a strong season are higher in a neutral year (one in which there isn’t an El Niño or its counterpart, La Niña). So, there’s a chance that this year’s season will be stronger. To that point, there has already been a tropical storm that has developed in the Atlantic – Sub-tropical Storm Alex.
Plus, Florida is overdue. The last major landfall we saw was with Hurricane Wilma back in 2005.
What does this mean for you? If you haven’t had a home watch service in Fort Myers help you prepare your home for hurricane season, you’re leaving your home vulnerable to the elements. There will be a time – maybe this season – when hurricanes strike.
Talk to us to help you get your home prepared for hurricanes and up to standards before the season gets stronger.