Weather forecasters predict calmer hurricane season

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POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 4:07pm

UPDATED: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 7:40am

Research scientists and weather experts gathered together at the National Tropical Weather Conference on South Padre Island to speak about hurricane predictions.

Something that is abnormal from previous season seems to be the presence of El Niño this season.

"Well basically it just means that you have normal than warmer waters in the Eastern and tropical Pacific, and what that does is it alters up a lot of our winds in such a way that that you get increased upper level westerly winds in the Atlantic which tears apart the developing cyclones and hurricanes," said Colorado State University research scientist Phil Klotzbach. 

Because of the high probability of El Niño, weather officials are predicting that there will be less storms this hurricane season.

"We're predicting a quieter than normal system," said Klotzbach. "Only about 60 percent of normal so, a total of nine name stores, three hurricanes, and one major hurricane."

But even if these predictions are perfect, there's no telling where these storms could be. And it only takes one storm to cause severe damage.

"We think this will not be a very active year, but you could have-The Gulf is particularly difficult," said the Tropical Meteorology Project's Dr. William Gray. "The Gulf is a hard area to predict."

"There's really no way to say if Texas is going to be impacted," said Klotzbach. "Typically, Texas has a one in three chance of being hit by a hurricane in any particular year."

But, that does not tell the whole story, because the important number is one that is not included in their calculations. How many storms will actually make landfall this year?

"One thing with Texas is even if you get an El Niño, the odds of landfall staying in Florida tend to go down more significantly than they do in Texas," said Klotzbach. "Texas has been impacted quite significantly in some El Niño years."

But still, the bottom line is that these experts say there will not be lot of hurricanes this year.
 

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