An El Nino may be about to form in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which may create a curb on hurricanes in the Atlantic as the storm season reaches its most active phase.
The number of warm spots across the central Pacific has grown, leading climatologists to believe an El Nino may form between now and September, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.
“Overall, the forecaster consensus reflects increased chances for El Nino,” the center said a statement today. An El Nino watch posted last month was continued.
The phenomenon increases Atlantic wind shear that can keep tropical systems from forming, decreasing the total number of storms during the June 1 to Nov. 30 season, which peaks from Aug. 20 to Oct. 20.
El Nino also has been known to bring about mild winters across the northern U.S. and western Canada as well as more rain to the U.S. South. It occurs every two to five years on average, and lasts about 12 months.