Predictions Released for Atlantic Hurricane Season

Published on April 14th, 2016

Top meteorologists from Colorado State University forecast a near-average Atlantic hurricane season this year, predicting 12 tropical storms will form, with five becoming hurricanes.

A typical year, based on weather records dating to 1950, has 12 tropical storms, of which seven spin into hurricanes. A tropical storm contains sustained winds of 39 mph. It becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph.

According to USA Today, Meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project was the first organization to issue seasonal hurricane forecasts back in 1984. This is the team’s 33rd forecast.

The forecast covers the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, though storms sometimes form outside those dates.

Although El Niño, which tends to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity, is weakening, water in the North Atlantic Ocean is unusually cold, which could also suppress storm development.

Klotzbach said that of the five predicted hurricanes, two should be major hurricanes — category 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater. Last year, the team predicted seven named storms, with three becoming hurricanes. The season ended with 11 named storms, of which four were hurricanes.

To read the team’s forecast… click here.

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