With just over two months to go before the 2012 hurricane season begins, the first preaseason predictions have been released. The six month season that begins on June 1st should be quieter than normal, according to Colorado State University meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray.
"A warming tropical Pacific and a cooling tropical Atlantic are leading us to think that the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will have less activity" than average, meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray wrote in an online report.
"The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are relatively high," they said.
El Niño, which is the opposite of La Niña, usually decreases the number of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin. But, it only takes one. Under El Niño conditions in 1992, we saw the birth of Hurricane Andrew, one of the most powerful hurricanes to strike the United States in recorded history. Andrew was one of only three Category Five storms to make landfall in the United States in recorded history, and the last Category Five storm to strike the United States coastline. Coincidentally, this upcoming season marks the 20th Anniversary of Andrew.