Atlantic storm forecast: slightly-below normal

An early forecast predicts 13 named storms and a “slightly-below normal” Atlantic hurricane season.

The Atlantic season officially begins June 1 and continues through Nov. 30. Among the forecasts made annually is one Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project.

Earlier this month, the CSU team led by Philip J. Klotzbach forecasted:

  • 13 named storms, the average is 12.1;
  • 50 named storm days, the average is 59.4;
  • Five hurricanes, the average is 6.4;
  • Two major hurricanes, the average is 2.7;
  • Four major hurricane days, the average is 6.2.

In 2018, there were 14 named storms, seven of them were hurricanes, including three of category 3 strength or greater.

The team determined a 48% probability that a major hurricane would make landfall on the U.S. coastline.

The probability of a major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula, was put at 28%.

The probability of a major hurricane making landfall from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas, was at 30%.

And the probability of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean was at 39%.

The forecasters based their predictions in part on a current weak El Nino that appears likely to persist and perhaps strengthen.

Other factors mentioned in their report posted on the Web at tropical.colostate.edu include average sea surface temperatures that are slightly below normal and a far North Atlantic that is anomalously cool.

The forecast team provided this caution in its summary: “As is the case with all hurricane seasons, 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.”

Additional forecasts from the CSU team will be released June 4, July 2 and Aug. 6.

2019 storm names

The storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

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