Thanks to new kind of El Nino – El Nino years typically result in fewer hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean. But a new study suggests that the form of El Nino may be changing potentially causing not only a greater number of hurricanes than in average years, but also a greater chance of hurricanes making landfall.

That’s because this new type of El Nimo, known as El Nino Modoki (from the Japanese meaning “similar, but different”), forms in the Central Pacific, rather than the Eastern Pacific as the typical El Nino event does. Warming in the Central Pacific is associated with a higher storm frequency and a greater potential for making landfall along the Gulf coast and the coast of Central America.

But there’s some good news too: researcher Peter Webster says, “This new type of El Nino is more predictable. We’re not sure why, but this could mean that we get greater warning of hurricanes, probably by a number of months.”

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