Initial Conditions for the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season

– Initial Conditions for the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season
In 2005, by contrast, the entire hurricane-prone section of the Atlantic was much warmer than average. In fact, at the opening of the 2006 hurricane season, sea surface temperatures were 2 degrees cooler than they had been at opening of the 2005 season, said Adamec. The warm temperatures in 2005 allowed a record seven storms to form by the end of July. (Link to temperature maps)
The other major difference between conditions in 2005 and conditions in 2006 is the position of the Bermuda High, a semi-permanent high-pressure system that sits over the Central Atlantic. Hurricanes that form in the Atlantic tend to circle the Bermuda High. In 2004 and 2005, the Bermuda High expanded to the south and west, pushing storms into the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. But as of May 31, 2006, the Bermuda High remained small and in a position that would steer storms up the East Coast of the United States or out into the Atlantic.

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