Early forecasts for the 2016 Atlantic tropical season are starting to come out, and so far all of them predict that the tropical season this year will be more active than usual. El Niño acted as a brake last year and the hurricane season was relatively quiet, but with El Niño going away and most likely being replaced by La Niña, that means less wind shear aloft and more likelihood that tropical waves will be able to develop into full-fledged hurricanes. You can read more about it at Reuters here.
Keep in mind that even in a quiet season, any hurricane can become severe and take a path that creates significant destruction (think Hurricane Andrew in 1992). And more tropical storms can mean less likelihood of drought in the areas that get impacted by the storms, so they aren’t all bad.
Business Insider posted a story listing some other impacts of the likely La Niña in coming months: more drought in California, fewer East Coast blizzards, developing drought in Texas, and the possibility of a great skiing season in the Pacific Northwest. Also a hot summer for us here in the Southeast.
One sad note here: Dr. Bill Gray, the visionary Colorado State climatologist who founded the use of seasonal hurricane predictions, died yesterday at the age of 86. You can read more about him at the Weather Underground blog at https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/bill-gray-a-towering-figure-in-hurricane-science.