Rex Ross Web Site Special Weather Feature

"Looking Ahead to the 2017 Atlantic Basin
Tropical Storm Season"

..and what happened in 2016?
May 10, 2017

Following an active hurricane season in 2016, the outlook for 2017 appears to show a tropical season closer to the long term seaon averages.

Two commonly referenced sources of hurricane predictions for 2017 are:

* Colorado State University

* The Weather Channel Broadcast Group

Their 2017 forecasts are as follows:

  2016 Actual Long Term Average 2017
Colorado State U.
2017 Weather Channel
Total Named Storms 15 12 11 12
Hurricanes 7 6 4 6
Category 3 or Higher (Major Hurricanes) 3 2 2 2

When Does Hurricane Season Begin?

The official onset of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin is June 1, with the offical season ending November 30.

However, there are numerous examples of tropical events in the Atlantic basin occuring prior to June 1 and after November 30.

The early season outlook suggests that the 2017 season will have slightly below average activity.

* El Nino Event: The Pacific based El Nino appears likely to return as a weak to moderate event during mid to latter part of the topical season (the most active portion of the season).

The occurrence of an El Nino event typically results in increased wind shear in the Atlantic, and such wind shear often limits or suppresses the formation of storms. Without that El Nino driven wind shear, storms are more likely to form and strengthen as they cross the Southern Atlantic without their tops being blown off, which often causes them to weaken and/or dissipate.

It should be noted that there remains some chance that El Nino may not develop as expected. Should El Nino not form, the result could be some potential increase in tropical activity over the current forecast.

* Sea Surface Temperatures: Sea surface temperatures in the northern Atlantic are a bit cooler than average. This can cause atmospheric conditions which are unfavorable for the development and strengthening of Atlantic storms.

* Other Factors: Many other factors, such as the presence or absence of dry air conditions in the Southern Atlantic, and large scale air circulation patterns also affect the formation and strengthening of tropical systems.


* Regardless of the pre-season predictions, it only takes one storm event impacting your area of interest to make the season an unpleasant one.

* So it is important for all those with interests along the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean coastal zones to pay close attention to any tropical systems which may possibly affect those locations.

Reports During the 2017 Tropical Season

Our usual brief daily recaps will be sent out whenever there is an active tropical system in the Atlantic basin.

And don't forget, you can always check the active storm page available at:

and then click on the Active Storms link at the top left of that page.