Colorado State University researchers are predicting an “average” hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean with five hurricanes and 12 named storms. Two storms are expected to reach Category 3 with winds that exceed 110 mph.
The university’s Tropical Meteorology Project forecast, released in April by scientists Philip J. Klotzbach and the late William M. Gray, estimates a 50 percent chance that a Category 3 storm or greater will make landfall somewhere in the U.S. They give a roughly 30 percent chance that a storm of similar strength will make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico or along the East Coast.
The report estimates a 40 percent chance of a Category 3 storm or greater tracking into the Caribbean.
“While shear-enhancing El Nino conditions are likely to dissipate in the next several months, the far North Atlantic is quite cold,” researchers said. “These cold anomalies tend to force atmospheric conditions that are less conducive for Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification.”
The Colorado State prediction model is compiled using 29 years of data of past storm activity and weather conditions. The median number of named storms and hurricanes during that time is 12 and six, respectively.
The full report is available at The Tropical Meteorology Project by visiting http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/.