There have been 10 consecutive hurricanes so far this year, and we’re likely to see more if La Niña develops, according to weather officials.
You may have heard of El Niño before, but what’s La Niña?
La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and is one of the main drivers of weather in the U.S. and around the world, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
There's a 55 to 65 percent chance that La Niña will develop during the fall and winter of 2017 to 2018, the Climate Prediction Center said Thursday.
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So what does that mean for our region?
If La Niña does develop over the next few months, you can expect South Carolina and other areas in the southeast to have warmer than average winter temperatures, according to Doug Hoehler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.
There are also unusually dry conditions in most of the southern tier of the U.S., the prediction center says.
In addition to having an abnormally warm and dry winter, more hurricanes are likely to occur in the southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, Hoehler said.
“It’s mainly because of a weaker, vertical wind shear, meaning a change in wind speed or direction of height,” he said.
That makes conditions more favorable for hurricanes to develop.