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CSU hurricane forecasters predict very active Atlantic season

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 4:34am MST
Forecasters are warning of a very active hurricane season and an increased potential for landfall in the United States. (Natural Disasters Examiner)

Forecasters are warning of a very active hurricane season and an increased potential for landfall in the United States. (Natural Disasters Examiner)

Forecasters at Colorado State University released an updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane forecast that if it holds true, portends a very eventful season.  The forecast warns of a 175 percent above normal level of activity and most troubling warns that the United States is overdue to get struck by a major hurricane.

The 2010 hurricane season was a busy one and saw the third most named storms on record but mercifully, none made landfall in the United States.  For the 2011 season the CSU team expects things to be slightly calmer but still far above normal.

CSU forecasters are calling for 16 named storms during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.  Of those they expect nine will become hurricanes and five of those will be major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

These estimates far exceed the historical 1950 to 2000 average.  During that period the Atlantic averaged 9.6 named storms per year, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes.

The team warned that whether a hurricane forecast calls for above or below normal activity, residents should always be equally prepared.  Dr. Phil Klotzbach said, “It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season.”

Breaking down the team’s analysis further, they gave a 72 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall along the U.S. coastline.  By comparison, the long-term average probability is 52 percent.

This recent 9 of 11-year period without any major landfall events should not be expected to continue.
~ Dr. William Gray

By region CSU forecasters put a 48% chance on the probability that a major hurricane will strike the East Coast.  Nearly matching that they said there was a 47% probably a major hurricane would hit on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Dr. William Gray noted that overall the Atlantic Basin is primed for significant hurricane activity.  He said that since 1999, only the 2004 and 2005 seasons saw a major hurricane make landfall in the U.S. and this scenario is not likely to continue.  Gray warns, “This recent 9 of 11-year period without any major landfall events should not be expected to continue.”

More hurricane news from the Natural Disasters Examiner:

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