A very strong El Niño caused above average activities in the Pacific and a below average activity in the Atlantic says the final figures for the year released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The hurricane season in the United States began on June 1 and officially ended on Monday, November 30.
There were 11 storms (average 11.5) that had been named, four hurricanes (average 6.1) plus two major ones that were Category 3 or higher and very dangerous that occurred in the Atlantic this year. The figures were below average. These below-average activities have been going on for two consecutive years in the region after 20 years ago.
Over at the Pacific, during this year’s hurricane season, and the central and eastern Pacific areas broke several past records. The ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific region were higher, which led to 9 high-intensity storms, including Hurricane Patricia, which was one of the strongest hurricanes that the Western Hemisphere has ever experienced. Hurricane Patricia’s sustained winds reached 200 mph. It was also one of the lowest pressures on record. On the other hand, the central Pacific region experienced a total of 14 named storms, which was triple the number of storms that occur in a normal year.
Scientists from NOAA said that the leading factor for the abnormality in weather patterns this 2015 was El Niño.
The El Niño phenomenon is a climatic cycle that occurs naturally, which has a major effect on weather patterns worldwide. El Niño suppressed the Atlantic season due to the production of drier air, strong sinking motion and high wind shear that made storm formation difficult. In the Pacific, with low wind shear and warm waters hurricanes formed. Atlantic experienced most destructive storm Hurricane Joaquin that struck the Bahamas and caused El Faro, a cargo ship, to sink.
El Niño is expected to continue until next summer and could be replaced by La Niña.
Source: Day News Corporation