El Nino appears to be gradually developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. A full-fledged El Niño episode means that Atlantic hurricane activity will probably be suppressed this year. El Nino usually causes strong upper-level winds and high wind shear, both of which contribute to less tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Depending on how quickly it develops, there could be a rapid shutdown of tropical storm and hurricane activity during the latter part of the Atlantic season in September and October. Activity is more likely in August and early September, which is before the El Nino is expected to develop.