CSU releases 2017 hurricane forecast

10 April 2017, 02:20 | Kristine Mills

Hurricane Matthew in 2016

Hurricane Matthew in 2016

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is predicting 11 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. However, only two of those are expected to be major hurricanes at category 3 or higher.

Colorado State University released its 34th annual pre-season hurricane forecast on Thursday, almost two months before the official start of the season.

The researchers reminded those along the coast that it "only takes one" hurricane to make it an active season for them, so thorough preparation is essential regardless of the forecast. "One must remember that our forecasts are based on the premise that those global oceanic and atmospheric conditions which preceded comparatively active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar trends in future seasons". El Nino is always a welcome sight in the Atlantic, but stronger ones are always preferred.

"Also, the Atlantic has got somewhat cooler than normal", said Klotzbach.

A normal hurricane season is characterised by 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

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Although a below average season is predicted, the Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Sharleen DaBreo is insisting that residents and visitors should focus on fine tuning their preparations.

"Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict this season's hurricane activity in early April", the CSU report says. El Nino events typically correspond to fewer storms in the Atlantic and more in the eastern Pacific.

The chance of landfall along the East Coast is 24 percent, well below the long-term average of 31 percent. As we saw previous year, this dry air inhibits tropical development and makes it very hard for storms to form in the far western or even central tropical Atlantic. This is the 34th year that the CSU hurricane research team has issued the Atlantic-basin seasonal hurricane forecast.

Last season spawned 15 named storms, seven of which developed into hurricanes. Gray (who died last year) and Dr. Klotzbach at several weather conferences over the years, and realized immediately that they were by far the smartest guys in the room.



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