AccuWeather reports the potential movement of a 'cold blob' of water in the North Atlantic Ocean may be the wild card in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, experts say.
The cold blob refers to a large, anomalous area of colder-than-normal sea-surface temperatures, located east of Newfoundland and south of Greenland.
"This area of colder water started to show up a few years ago and has become larger and more persistent during the past couple of years," AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Whether or not ocean currents draw cold water from this blob southward into tropical regions of the Atlantic could determine how active the season becomes.
With all potential factors in mind, forecasters are predicting that tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic will total 14 this season, two more than what is considered normal.
If the cooler water migrates southward across the eastern Atlantic, then westward into tropical breeding grounds, it will lower sea-surface temperatures over the region where 85 percent of Atlantic tropical systems develop.
Another possibility is that the water from the cold blob could alter the makeup of deep ocean currents and affect the salinity of the water.
If this happens, the pattern of warming waters that has been occurring since 1995 will reverse, leading to a period of cooling.
Either of these scenarios would limit tropical development in the Atlantic.
If these scenarios don't occur, sea-surface temperatures will remain mostly warmer than normal, likely resulting in a season more active than in the past three years.
Should this be the case, experts believe the current El Niño will weaken, eventually leading to a neutral pattern by the end of the spring or early summer.
"The big question is whether we will go into a La Niña, which is what we're anticipating right now," Kottlowski said.
La Niña is characterized by cooler-than-normal ocean water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator.
When this occurs, less wind shear is found in the developmental regions of the Atlantic, increasing the potential for a higher-than-normal amount of tropical systems.
"Historically, some hurricane seasons that have followed a transition from El Niño to La Niña have been very active. It's possible we could flip from one extreme to the other, from below-normal seasons the past three years to an above-normal year in 2016," he said.
2013 International Human-Powered Submari
Scientists Discover New Marine Life in A
The Birth of the Atlantic Ocean
BOEM Announces $2 Million in Awards to t
New Study Suggests Coral Reefs May be ab
Speedcast Expands Its Global Maritime VS
NOAA Announces Regulations to Protect Ma
NOAA: Coastal Ocean Aquaculture can be E
First Offshore Wind Project Proposed for
Unstable Atlantic Deep Ocean Circulation
Greater Atlantic Region Expected to Rece
Long-Term Predictions for Miami Sea Leve
NOAA Ships Set Sail for 2014 Hydrographi
Decadal Variability of the Atlantic Circ
A&P Falmouth Completes Manufacture of Fi
From Despair to Repair: Dramatic Decline
Study Provides New Approach to Forecast
Study of Bigeye Tuna in Northwest Atlant
Natural Methane Seepage on U.S. Atlantic
Atlantic Petroleum Acquirers Licenses in
MTN Terrestrial Broadband Network Covera
AutoNaut Proves Herself in Atlantic Stor
U.N. task force says new ocean telecom c
New Environmental Monitoring Solution fo
Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanogra
New Techniques for Estimating Atlantic B
Pelamis Wave Power Limited (“Pelamis”) t
World's First High Speed LNG Fulled RoPa
C & C Technologies to be Acquired by Oce
C & C Technologies to be Acquired by Oce
Join a Plastic Pollution Research Voyage
Dead Zones’ Found in Atlantic Open Water
Listening for Whales and Fish in the Nor
“Pathways to the Abyss” Video is a Virtu
Odyssey Marine Exploration Successfully
Europe’s Deepest Glider to be Developed
Coral Bleaching Threat Increasing in Wes
Offshore Wind Farm will be First Mover i
El Nino Could Be One of Strongest in Pas
Robotic Search and Rescue: the New ICARU
Study Offers New Insights on Hurricane I
A Technique Designed to Predict how much
Can a Lobster be an Archaeologist? SUT t
Impacts of Extreme North Atlantic Winter
ITOPF R & D Award 2016
New features for JW Fishers Underwater S
Dubai Expansion: Churchill Drilling Tool
German Hydrographic Society to Stage Hyd
ESA Funded A-SeNS Enables Port-Log Data
The 2016 Ocean Science Meeting Takes Pla
Internet Access will be Possible in Remo
Business Leaders Demand End to Drilling
CMRE and NOAA Join Forces to Monitor Atl
“Atlantic Canyons” Study Team to Receive
Planet Earth’s Oceans and Lands will Be
Call for Entries - Rosenstiel School of
Arctic Shipping Routes May be Open by 20
Teledyne Marine New Product Highlights a
Teledyne Introduces Innovative Solutions
Sonardyne to Debut Expanded Line-Up of S
NOC to be Part of Ambitious Multi-Center
Florida Atlantic University Ocean Engine
Oceanology International 2016 – Looking
National Science Board Honors Sea Educat
PGS to Cover Aasta Hansteen in 2016
MMT to Speak at OTC 2016 Houston
Rowe Technologies Appoints Ransone Techn
Teledyne Marine Photo and Video Contest
WOC Announces Theme and Program for 2016
Thuraya and IEC Telecom Join Forces to S
PLOCAN Glider School 2016
NOAA Gets New Global Ocean Satellite Jus
Aquatec Group Launch Equipment Awards 20
World Ocean Council SOS 2016 Registratio
The Ocean Cleanup Founder to Speak at ON
The Marine Technology Society’s ROV Comm
Understanding Rogue Ocean Waves May be S
Stampede Deepwater Development Update -
Oceans may be a Large, Overlooked Source
The Maritime Alliance Hosts San Diego Bl
WOC to Launch “Young Ocean Professionals
First Marine National Monument Created i
BOEM Completes Environmental Review for
BOEM Announces Environmental Study Repor
MTS Houston Section – Annual Barbecue –
WavEC Seminar 2016 and B2B meetings – 26
Aquatec Announces 2016 Photo Contest Win
Taking the Surprise out of Hurricane Sea
Ocean Industry CEO’s Convene to Advance
Iver3-AUV Plays Active Role in Unmanned
The International SeaKeepers Society Hos
Teledyne Marine Presents Enhanced Survey
Investing in the Ocean: SOS 2016 to Focu
SOS 2016 to Advance Industry/Science Col
Ocean Science Pioneer Walter Munk to be
Statement from The Business Network for
Researchers Study Sea Spray to Improve H
The Results are in for the 2016 Ocean He
NASA Launches New Hurricane Tracking Sat