For over thirty years, every spring, weather forecasters and weather watchers wait to hear from the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University about how many hurricanes we will have that season. Many meteorologists consider them to be the most credible and comprehensive forecast out there. In April they released their latest forecast predicting near average activity this year.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th. The CSU team is predicting 13 named storms during the Atlantic season and of those they expect five to become hurricanes and two to reach major hurricane strength. They say there is a 50% probability for at least one major hurricane landfall on the entire U.S. coastline and 30% for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida Peninsula. Forecast updates will be issued on June 1, July 1 and August 3.
The CSU team cited two competing factors for their prediction. One, that El Nino is weakening and likely will dissipate prior to summer and second, that the North Atlantic is quite cold. They also take into consideration over 60 years of historical data that include Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels, and other factors.
“Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” said the CSU team.
It is National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 15 – 21. Experts prescribe an action plan that includes determining your risk of being impacted by a hurricane, developing an evacuation plan, checking up on your homeowner’s insurance coverage, shopping for supplies, strengthening your home, identifying your trusted source of information for hurricane information and completing your written hurricane plan that should be kept with your insurance, home ownership and other vital documents in a waterproof folder.
Photo courtesy of NOAA