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Facing the Fury: Hurricane weather terms to know

6 months 5 days 6 hours ago Tuesday, June 01 2021 Jun 1, 2021 June 01, 2021 6:00 PM June 01, 2021 in Weather - Hurricane Central

The 2020 hurricane season was one of the most active seasons of all time, and this year is expected to be active as well.

Though it might not top last year, the 2021 hurricane season is likely to be above average - especially if we lean more to a La Niña climate pattern in the ENSO region. 

If conditions become favorable for storms to form in our main development region, we will likely have more storms coming in to the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Southern Caribbean and East Coast.

Once a storm forms, some of the data used to forecast the strength includes wind shear and sea surface temperature.

Sea surface temperatures start warming up in late spring and usually must reach a temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit or greater to fuel a hurricane. 

However, sea surface temperatures aren't enough to get a tropical cyclone started. Another important factor to consider is wind shear, a change in wind speed or direction with height in the atmosphere.     

When wind blows in the same direction of the lower level and upper level winds on both levels of the atmosphere, the storm will strengthen.

On the other hand, winds coming from opposing directions will cause the storm to weaken.

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