Prediction comes after a surge in events over the past few years
This year’s Atlantic tropical storm season is likely to be one of the calmest on record according to the Met Office forecast.
The season runs from June to November, and is predicted to experience between 7 and 13 storms – an average of ten. Should these predictions bear fruit, this would be less than an average of 12 storms per year during the last 20 years, and a marked reduction from the last two years which have had 19 each.
Joanne Camp, climate scientist at the Met Office, said: “El Niño conditions in the Pacific can hinder the development of tropical storms in the Atlantic, so how this develops will be important for the storm season ahead – particularly from August onwards, which is normally the most active time for tropical storms.”
The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index – which measures the number of storms and their combined strength – is also likely to be slightly lower than average this year, with a most likely value of 90 compared to the 1980–2010 average of 104.
There is a relatively wide range in the ACE index for 2012, with a 70% chance that the number will be between 28 and 152. This is partly due to the current uncertainty in the evolution of the El Niño/La Niña cycle over the next few months.