MIAMI (CBSMiami) — As we approach the start of the 2017 hurricane season, forecasters look for clues as to how active the Atlantic Basin will be. One major indicator is the presence of El Niño or La Niña.
El Niño is the warming of waters in the Pacific near the equator while La Niña is cooling of those waters. El Niño is one of the strongest weather influences on the planet and can change or enhance weather patterns around the globe.
Specifically as far as South Florida is concerned, El Niño helps create increased wind shear over the tropical Atlantic which tends to decrease the number of hurricanes.
This spring computer models are suggesting a weak El Niño may develop, which if true could lower the number of hurricanes but bring a stormy 2017 winter.
As of mid April, the forecast is for a very low chance of La Niña but a 50% chance for El Niño.