Forecast: Hurricane activity to tick up but remain below average

06/01/2012 12:43:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

A team of hurricane forecasters from Colorado State University in Fort Collins has increased its predictions for this season's activities in the Atlantic.

But the team still forecasts below-average hurricane activity due to cooling in the tropical Atlantic and a potential El Niño development, according to a news release.

The CSU team calls for 13 named storms during the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, including Alberto and Beryl, which have just passed.

Five of those 13 are expected to become hurricanes, and two are expected to become major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

These would be considered category 3, 4 or 5 storms.

Even though the Atlantic already has seen two named storms, pre-June 1 activity typically has little bearing on the rest of the season, said William Gray, an emeritus professor of atmospheric science.

Only two seasons—1887 and 1908—had two named storms before June 1.

Although 1887 was a very active season, 1908 had just average activity.

The last season with a U.S. landfall before June 1 was 1976, which was a relatively quiet season.

The hurricane team updated its forecast based on new a new model that takes into account 29 years of historical data.

Probabilities of tropical storm-force, hurricane-force and major hurricane-force winds occurring at specific locations along the East and Gulf coasts are listed on the team's landfall probability website, http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane.



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