All Weather News

Updated Hurricane Forecast from Colorado State University

10 Aug 2017, 4:01 pm

Colorado State University Meteorologists recently updated their forecast for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season this year. The new forecast is 16 named storms (39 mph or higher), 8 hurricanes (74 mph or higher), and 3 major hurricanes of category 3 or higher (111 mph and up). An average year is 12 names storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

The previous CSU forecast on June 1st  was close to the yearly averages at 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The original forecast issued in early April called for a below average year at 11 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 major storms.

The forecast is similar to the outlook posted by the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center earlier this week. It called for a 60 percent likelihood of  an above average season with 14 to 19 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes, including 2 to 5 major hurricanes.

The updated outlook states “The 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season has had an above-average number named storms but below-average accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) through the end of July. However, over 90% of all ACE is generated after 1 August.” The report also notes “There remains considerable uncertainty surrounding this outlook. Hurricane-enhancing conditions include a warmer-than-normal tropical and subtropical Atlantic, anomalously low vertical wind shear across the Main Development Region in July and neutral ENSO (no El Nino or La Nina) conditions. However, the far North Atlantic remains cooler than normal, and the Caribbean has had anomalously strong shear over the past few weeks. Typically, a cold far North Atlantic favors higher pressure in the Main Development Region, generating a more stable atmosphere and suppressing tropical cyclone activity. In general, anomalously strong shear in the Caribbean is associated with suppressed hurricane activity. However, we believe that the hurricane-enhancing conditions are likely to dominate this season, leading us to call for an active season.”

Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted. This is the 34th year in which the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project has made forecasts of the upcoming season’s Atlantic basin hurricane activity. Developed by Dr. William Gray for the 1984 season, the forecasts are now issued by Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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