Written by Staff Writer at CNN
As it did this past season, the Atlantic hurricane season will be named “Pacific” for the 21st year in a row, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.
Global warming is at the root of the naming tradition of the season, the National Hurricane Center, the country’s largest Atlantic hurricane forecaster, says on its website. “A higher proportion of storms that occur in the Atlantic tend to form in warmer Pacific than in Atlantic waters,” says the agency.
Every year, forecasters assign numbers and codenames to incoming storms, which they call “Junos” and “Joes.” Hurricanes have a name for about an hour before turning into a tropical storm, and a year later becomes a tropical cyclone.
The 20th annual Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1. Last year, the season included 15 named storms, including Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina on August 30 as a Category 1 storm. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
“There is only one official hurricane season, and this year marks 20 years since the last official hurricane season that wasn’t named ‘Pacific’,” NOAA said on its website.
“So that means what we have been calling the ‘Atlantic hurricane season’ has been an official Atlantic hurricane season all these years,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in a press release Friday.