ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It's been quiet in the tropics since Bonnie and Colin formed in the beginning of July. And that isn't expected to change anytime soon. In fact, most models keep the tropics inactive through the rest of July.
You might be asking, "But I thought this was supposed to be an active season?"
Yes, and it still is expected to be an above-average hurricane season. One of the indicators for an active hurricane season is the La Niña phase, which we have been in since early 2020.
The La Niña phase has weakened slightly, but the latest forecast holds onto the La Niña status through hurricane season. The International Research Institute's latest mid-July forecast keeps a 60-70 percent chance for La Niña to continue through hurricane season, with about a 30 percent chance of the phase turning neutral.
In the 2000s, there have been five years ('00, '11, '16, '20, '21) with La Niña's at a similar strength (between -0.5 to -1) for August, September and October. For those five years, not one of them produced a below-average season!
In fact, when you take an average of those years, it comes out to 20 named storms, almost nine hurricanes and over four major hurricanes. That is well above the current average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes!
Of course, we need to take things one storm at a time as activity will ramp up from August through October. Stay with 10 Tampa Bay as your hurricane headquarters!