University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers investigating the ingredients that go into a hurricane think they have found a reliable basis for predicting the overall strength of a hurricane season. Jim Kossin and Dan Vimont have found a basin-wide circulation pattern that offer one possible explanation in the previously unexplained differences in long-term hurricane trends. "Kossin and Vimont, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, noticed that warmer water is just one part of a larger pattern indicating that the conditions are right for more frequent, stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic. The atmosphere reacts to ocean conditions and the ocean reacts to the atmospheric situation, creating a distinct circulation pattern known as the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM). The AMM unifies the connections among the factors that influence hurricanes such as ocean temperature, characteristics of the wind, and moisture in the atmosphere."