The recent upturn in Atlantic Basin hurricane activity, which began in 1995, is expected to continue this year, with an above-average number of tropical cyclones and an above-average probability of U.S. hurricane landfall, according to Colorado State University (CSU) forecasters.
William M. Gray and Philip J. Klotzbach updated their seasonal forecast, which was first published last December. According to the forecasters, there will be 14 named storms in the Atlantic Basin this year, one more than they predicted in December.
According to the forecast, there will be eight hurricanes, one more than first forecast, with three “intense” hurricanes. There also is a probability for “at least one major category 3-4-5 hurricane to hit landfall” somewhere on the U.S. coastline.
While the average chance of a hurricane hitting the U.S. coastline is 52% for the past 100 years, Gray and his team now predict a 71% chance this year.
On the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, TX, where most of the offshore oil and gas rigs are located, CSU forecasters are predicting a 40% chance of a hurricane hitting landfall, up from the average 100-year trend of 30%.
The U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, has a 52% chance of a hurricane hitting landfall; the average for the past 100 years was 31%. There also is an above-average risk of a “major” hurricane landfall in the Caribbean.
Gray, who heads the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU, has issued seasonal hurricane forecasts for 21 years. The forecasts are now issued in early December of the prior year, and again in early April, June, August, September and October of the current year.
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