El Nino could lead to quiet hurricane season

Living in New England, residents have to be prepared for all kinds of severe summer weather risks, from the tornado watch of last week to hurricanes and storms which hit all of the time.

(WPRI) – There’s a good chance that El Nino, which often brings in soaking rains to parts of California, may also affect the Atlantic hurricane season.

According to the Climate Prediction Center website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, there is a 65% chance that El Nino will form sometime this summer. University Rhode Island hurricane researcher Isaac Ginis agrees, but says there will be a series of new computer predictions which come out in June.

“The forecast skill of these models will get better over time” said Ginis.

El Niño is characterized by warmer than average temperatures in the equatorial pacific. One of its effects is to position the jet stream in a way that reduces the number of atlantic hurricanes.

“During El Nino years, the likelihood of a major landfall hurricane in the United States is reduced by a factor of 2,” Ginis told Eyewitness News.

So while we can hope that El Nino does his best to make this a quiet hurricane season, we can’t let our guard down. One of the most destructive storms in US history, Hurricane Andrew in 1992, is a perfect example of this.

For any hurricanes that get close to Southern New England this season, check out our hurricane tracker.

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