Active tropics in Pacific

South Fla. needs to be prepared regardless of forecasted below-normal activity in Atlantic


MIAMI – A lot of attention has been on Pacific Hurricanes Iselle and Julio and the potential impacts to the Hawaiian Islands.

Both of those tropical cyclones became named storms in the eastern North Pacific. In fact, Julio makes the tenth named storm in that basin so far during this hurricane season.

[RELATED: Max Mayfield's Hurricane Tracker app | Hurricane Survival Guide | Track storms ]

On average, the tenth named storm occurs near the first of September. If this activity continues, the eastern North Pacific is headed for above average activity for the season.

This is of interest to us in the Atlantic Basin because when tropical cyclone activity is above average in the eastern North Pacific, then the tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic is generally below average.


Let me share an example: I recall one year when I was a hurricane forecaster at the National Hurricane Center the eastern North Pacific was extremely busy with 25 tropical storms. That included 14 hurricanes and eight major hurricanes.

That same year (1992) produced below-normal activity in the Atlantic Basin with only six tropical storms, including four hurricanes. Unfortunately, one of those hurricanes was Category 5 Andrew that devastated South Florida and was one of the strongest hurricanes to ever strike the United States.

The point is that it is not all about numbers. It only takes one hurricane over our community to make for a bad year.

Regardless of the seasonal forecasts calling for a high chance of below-normal activity in the Atlantic, we still need to be prepared.