- Michael Dattolico
El Nino, La Nina, Hurricanes, and You
El Nino and La Nina are two sides of a coin in a system called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. This system is based on water temperatures along the equatorial Pacific ocean. While there a lot of complex and fascinating science behind this system, it can be simply put that the ENSO is simply fluctuations in the Pacific water temperatures. El Nino is when the temperatures are warmer than usual and La Nina is when the temperatures are colder than usual.
Water temperatures, seemingly a factor that would stand on its own, widely affects other components of weather such as the winds. La Nina specifically decreases vertical wind shear in the Atlantic. Vertical wind shear is the force of wind at a certain altitude. The greater the vertical wind shear the great the shear forces. This is important because the higher the shear force, the more it's able to break up hurricane activity and prevent stronger storms from happening.
From this, the important point to take away is that La Nina, decrease water temperatures in the Pacific, can create a more nurturing environment for more and stronger hurricanes to form.
While the weather is likely to be more mild in June, our family at AJS would like to help your family prepare for this year's entire hurricane season. Stay tuned for tips, advice, as well as hurricane news and science as our next set of blogs will be dedicated to these topics. For now, we hope everyone is staying home and staying safe!