Atlantic Hurricane Season

Guiding Question

How do the Bermuda High, El Nino, and water temperature affect hurricane development in The Atlantic and landfalls in the United States?


Bermuda High

Specifically it is a very large area of high atmospheric pressure that sets itself up and becomes firmly entrenched over the Sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean. Generally speaking, is a Semi- permanent area of Sub-tropical High pressure that migrates between about 30 degrees and 40 degrees North Latitude depending on the season. That is located further South and East during the winter and early spring closer to the Azores, that is why it is called the Azores high, and moves more to the North and West as we get into the late spring through the summer and fall months. The Bermuda high is important, because it affects where the hurricanes go, its path, and its intensity. It always occurs when hurricanes occur making the atmosphere perfect for a hurricane, and hurricane like conditions.


Water Temperature

Water Temperature is a key role in how hurricanes are formed, they are formed when the area has 3 key conditions. First, the ocean waters must be warm enough at the surface to put enough heat and moisture into the overlying atmosphere, to provide the potential fuel for the thermodynamic engine that a hurricane becomes. Second, atmospheric moisture from sea water evaporation must combine with that heat and energy to form the powerful engine needed to propel a hurricane. Lastly, a wind pattern must be near the ocean surface to spiral air inwards. Bands of thunderstorms to form, allowing the air to warm further and rise higher into the atmosphere. If the winds at these higher levels are relatively light, this structure can remain intact and grow stronger: the beginning of a hurricane.


El Nino

It is a band of anomalously warm ocean water temperatures that periodically develops off the western coast of South America and can cause climate changes across the Pacific Ocean. Its also a temporary change in the climate of the Pacific Ocean, in the region around the equator. You can see its effects in both the ocean and atmosphere, generally in the Northern Hemisphere winter. Typically, the ocean surface warms up by a few degrees Celsius. At the same time, the place where hefty thunderstorms occur on the equator moves eastward. Although those might seem like small differences but it can have big effects on the worlds climate. It can also affect hurricane frequency in the Atlantic Ocean, making the possibility of hurricanes decrease during El Nino year, because of the increased wind shear in the environment.