WASHINGTON -- Over the past 30 years, the location where tropical cyclones reach massive intensity has been shifting toward the poles in both the northern and southern hemispheres, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The storms are moving at a rate of about 35 miles, or one-half degree of latitude, per decade. This migration away from the equator into higher latitudes will bring increased risk to areas usually spared from the destructive forces of tropical weather.
The new research shows the greatest migration is found in the Pacific and South Indian Oceans. There is no evidence that peak intensity in the Atlantic has migrated poleward over the past 30 years.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins this Sunday, June 1, and will continue through November 30.
The Hurricane Outlook, published from NOAA for the Atlantic, shows a normal to below-normal season. A somewhat quiet season is projected in part due to a developing El Niño pattern, often associated with a below-normal Atlantic tropical season.
The 30-year average lists 12 named storms as normal with six becoming hurricanes and three of those reaching category-3 strength or higher, classified as major hurricanes.
Keep in mind, the forecast does not factor in the number of storms making landfall.
Meteorologist Rod Hill, follow me here: www.facebook.com/kgwrodhill