Southern California might get drenching rains this summer
STATE COLLEGE, PA.
May 15, 2017
• Could feel influence of eastern Pacific hurricanes
• Warm Pacific waters to fuel frequent development of storms
An above-normal number of tropical storms and hurricanes are forecast for the eastern Pacific Ocean this summer, according to weather forecasting company AccuWeather Inc.
And Southern California might benefit.
Warm ocean waters are expected to foster the development of 19 tropical storms, 10 hurricanes and seven major hurricanes.
These numbers do not reflect any storms that develop in the central Pacific Ocean, including in the Hawaii area.
An average season in the eastern Pacific Ocean yields 15 tropical storms and eight hurricanes, four of which become major hurricanes.
"The main factor impacting development in the East Pacific this year is sea surface temperatures," says AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
"Sea surface temperatures are expected to be above normal throughout the basin, especially over the main development region," he says.
Another significant factor in tropical development is vertical wind shear, which is the difference in horizontal wind speed and direction throughout different levels of the atmosphere.
Low wind shear often aids in tropical development, while high wind shear can prevent development or cause tropical cyclones to weaken.
Decreasing amounts of wind shear during the summer months in the East Pacific will further aid in tropical development, AccuWeather says.
While many of the tropical systems will remain over the open ocean with little or no impact to land, three landfalls are forecast on the Mexico coastline.
With the threat for seven major hurricanes in the basin, residents and visitors should remain alert for dangerous conditions from multiple tropical systems in western and northern Mexico.
"There are also one to two tropical impacts on the United States from the eastern Pacific during an average year," says Mr. Kottlowski. "This would mainly be in the form of flooding rain affecting the region from Southern California to Texas."