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Colorado State University releases forecast for upcoming hurricane season

06 April 2018

For reference, last year's hurricane activity - which included one major storm after another - was almost two and a half times greater than average. Of those, researchers expect seven to become hurricanes and three to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The annual study, which started in 1984, produced a variety of interesting stats for the upcoming season, including the probability of major hurricanes making landfall.

"This forecast shows three of those seven hurricanes becoming major hurricanes", said Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers.

But, ready or not, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1.

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The lead author of the report, Phil Klotzbach, said that the 2018 hurricane season is exhibiting characteristics similar to 1960, 1967, 1996, 2006 and 2011. The El Nino is the name for a pattern of warm ocean temperatures in the central Pacific, which produces high winds across the southern United States, often breaking apart tropical storms.

"It's important to remember the number of storms and impacts don't really correlate", said Marthers.

At this point, "We do not anticipate a significant El Niño event this summer/fall", Colorado State researchers said in a release.

On September 10, Hurricane Irma hit Florida, eventually cutting power to more than 7.7 million homes and businesses, about 73% of the states' load, and it also affected power customers in Alabama and Georgia.

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According to Kottlowski, conditions are ripe for early season development in the Gulf of Mexico due the warm water already in place in that part of the Atlantic basin.

The forecast calls for a 38 percent chance of at least one major hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas.

The probability for a hurricane tracking into the Caribbean is put at 52%, above the 42% long-term average.

"The conditions just don't look as strong as what they were a year ago".

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Colorado State University releases forecast for upcoming hurricane season