I received an email from William Vermaak in Centurion, Pretoria
As hurricane season gets closer and closer a picture is being painted of what can be expected, and for those who like tracking it looks like good news, but for those living along the United States Alantic coastline and the Caribbean it is not looking good.
SSTs (Sea Surface Temperatures) are currently extremely high as the opening of the hurricane season is only 3 weeks away. Looking at the SSTs alone they could be compared to 2005, though in fact they appear to be quite a bit warmer than 2005 was at this point. Jeff Masters from Wunderground has said that the 2010 looks to possibly be a big one for the Atlantic, comparing it to some of the most active seasons seen.
Since 2005 the Atlantic has seen a relatively quiet period with few landfalling hurricanes though this could change in 2010 as SSTs are very supportive of large, strong storms. Though it’s important to note that SSTs are just one very small factor in hurricane development and one must look at the Saharan Dust Layer which inhibits development, though according to Masters the SDL is very weak. Another important factor in development of the storms is the amount of shear, this is something that can’t be as easily forecast, though long term models are suggesting this may also be conductive for hurricane development.
Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running a little below normal but these will likely raise as temperatures increase in the area. Off the coast of Africa extending to the Caribbean is a different story though with far above average SSTs, over 2’C in some areas.