(WKOW) -- Hurricane season has officially kicked off today, but for some, it started unofficially last week with subtropical storm Alberto.
Summer is approaching fast which also means vacations.
Any Wisconsinites that have travel plans to the Gulf Coast or the southeastern part of the country be aware that we are expecting a near-average hurricane season.
July is the busiest month for summer travel, coming after August, June, and September. However, September is the most active month for hurricanes followed by late August. Most tropical cyclones develop in the Gulf of Mexico in June.
In July the western Caribbean sea is prone to tropical cyclones. August and September are famous for having tropical systems tracking right along the Bahamas.
Colorado State University expects 13 more named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. The NOAA is projecting 10-16 names storms, five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes.
On the other hand, the Weather Channel is forecasting 12 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major storms. All have subtropical storm Alberto included. Nonetheless, all of these numbers are relatively close, but it only takes one storm to make a significant impact.
The development of an El Niño in the Pacific Ocean during hurricane season is a contributing factor that can assist with the hurricane forecast. An El Niño is when the tropical Pacific Ocean is warmer than usual. When an El Niño is present, this could give away above average winds aloft over the Atlantic basin fueling possible hurricanes.
Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.