State of the Season: Eight Storms a Bit of a Surprise

Late last night, Tropical Storm Henri (pronounced ahn-REE) formed east of Bermuda. Similar to most of the cyclones so far this year, though, the storm will stay out to sea and struggle to survive. Henri is already the eighth named cyclone in what was forecast to be a relatively quiet year. That's the total number that formed all of last year, and we are just at the midway point of the season.

National Hurricane Center's Chief of Operations James Franklin says the location of where some of these systems have formed this year is a bit of a surprise,

"We've had a couple, now three, systems form from African waves, which is more than we would have thought at the beginning of the year. But two of them (Danny and Erika) didn't last very long."

When you look beyond the numbers, the premise of the season's forecast that it would be significantly hindered by the current El Nino has come true. Franklin says this was exemplified in how Hurricane Danny and Tropical Storm Erika both dissipated quickly.

As the El Nino grows stronger, it will likely make it even more difficult for a tropical wave to fully develop and move all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. However, it is still very possible for a tropical storm to develop in the Gulf of Mexico or just off the East Coast of the United States. Historical data is less conclusive on how an El Nino weather pattern would influence systems that form in these regions.

NOAA scientists are expected to give an update on the current status and forecast of the El Nino conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean Thursday afternoon. The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will continue to update you on the latest developments and how they this may influence our weather in the coming months.

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