Making adjustments to the tropical forecast

By Tom

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- We all have to make adjustments either on a daily basis or periodically. That also goes for the guys that predict the Tropical Hurricane season for the North Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Tropical Prediction center along with Dr. Bill Gray and Dr. Phil Klotzback from Colorado State University have recently raised their numbers for named storms and hurricanes for the 2012 hurricane season.

We have had a busy start thus far with the 2012 season with seven named storms and we have not even come to the peak of the season. The peak of the hurricane season is September the 10th.

A normal season would see 12 named storms along with six of those becoming hurricanes and three of those major hurricanes. Dr. Gray and Dr. Klotzbach have predicted 14 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

NOAA or the Tropical Prediction Center has moved their prediction up from 9-15 named storms to 12-17 named storms. They also see 5-8 becoming hurricanes. The old prediction was 4-8 hurricanes. Major hurricanes went from 1-3 to now 2-3.

The main reasons for the increase from both forecasting groups is the warmer than normal SST's or sea surface temperatures. The second reason is the storm conducive wind patterns.

NOAA forecasters have predicted that an El Nino will develop late this month or in September. El Nino is a pattern of winds that strengthen the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic. In other words, El Nino winds help cut down on the strength and development of tropical storms and hurricanes.

So if forecasters are correct, we should have seven more named storms for the 2012 hurricane season. Does that mean it's all down hill? No it does not. Being prepared for the hurricane season all year is very important. Have that plan in place. Know where you want to go or if you're staying what you will do and how you will protect your family.