Saharan dust have an impact on the 2018 hurricane season
The dry air and the cold temperatures of the water mentioned as factors
The hurricane season starts on June 1, but up to now there are no major calls for the alarm in the Atlantic ocean.
“It is very quiet now in the tropical Atlantic ocean. There’s no storms, there is not even distortions that look like they will be storms,” said Dan Reilly, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Houston office.
The people in Texas, Oklahoma, and even New Mexico might have noticed hazy air a few times this summer. It is a large amount of dust, blown from the Sahara desert. The particles traversed thousands of miles across the Atlantic ocean, and meteorologists say they could be temporarily stopped hurricanes form.
Meteorologists say that the colder water temperatures contribute to a less active hurricane season.
“The dust tends to correspond to stronger winds in the air,” said Reilly.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “the fabric is in a warm and dry layer of the atmosphere that is directly above the cooler and more humid the air above the Atlantic Oceaan…De hot, dusty air put a stop to any thunderstorms that can develop in the moist layer below it.”
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Saharan dust is not new. However, Reilly believes more advanced satellite technology has led to an increased awareness.
“You can see that it is a lot better with our new satellites … you can see how the fabric as it moves in the Atlantic ocean, so I guess that is why we are aware of it now,” he said.
Other factors that contribute to a slower-than-normal season.
Saharan dust cloudy Gulf Coast communities this summer. Hot and dusty air from the Sahara dust can temporarily stop storms from forming.
“We have cooler-than-average sea surface temperature in the Atlantic ocean, where the storms form. We also have a stronger winds aloft that have the tendency to tear apart storms before they can get started,” said Reilly.
So far, the season has seen five named storms, including two hurricanes. NOAA states, “an average of six months in the hurricane season produces 12 named storms.” Earlier this month, seasonal forecasters with NOAA increased the chances of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane of the season to 60 percent. That is an increase of 25 percent since May.
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Still, Reilly warned people not to let their guard down, reminding them that just one bad storm to cause serious damage, a warning is not taken lightly in the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.
“We have about $ 13.8 billion to survivors for the Hurricane Harvey. Approximately $1.6 billion, that is for individuals who has suffered damage,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Tony Robinson.
Experts warn people to be careful, despite the lack of storms, with the warning that it is just one bad storm to cause serious damage. Communities such as Rockport, are still rebuilding after the Hurricane Harvey.
Robinson joined Vice-President Mike Pence at the First Baptist Church in Rockport on Wednesday. It meant a return for the vice-president, who stopped by the church a year ago after Harvey damaged.
Pence said, “Your nation is proud,” referring to the city’s recovery efforts.
“I want to encourage you to continue and know that we continue to work with you every step of the way,” he added.
The Coast of the gulf communities such as Rockport confronted with higher risks than that of the Atlantic coast. Circumstances that lead to a slower-than-normal season in the Atlantic ocean are not always shared in the Gulf.
“They are not as widely used in the Golf so we are always vulnerable to a Wave the development of the storm. The other thing is that you do not have much time to prepare as it is in the middle of the Gulf. Harvey was a good example,” said Reilly.
With the peak of the hurricane season is approaching in mid-September, he warned, no one in the clear just yet.
Madeleine Rivera is a multimedia reporter based in Houston, Texas.