COLORADO, United States, Monday April 4, 2011 – Predictions released by the Colorado State University’s leading forecaster, Professor William Gray, call for an above-average probability of Caribbean major hurricane landfall in the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
He has estimated that this hurricane season will have about nine hurricanes, 17 named storms, and five major hurricanes developing to at least Category 3 strength, or higher.
El Nino – a periodic change in the currents of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every five to eight years and brings unusually warm water to the coast of northern South America – is being blamed for the activity.
“We expect current moderate El Niño conditions to transition to neutral conditions by this year’s hurricane season. The predicted weakening of El Niño conditions combined with a very strong anomalous warming of the tropical Atlantic are the primary reasons why we are increasing our forecast. We believe that these two features will lead to favorable dynamic and thermodynamic conditions for hurricane formation and intensification,” said Professor Gray, who is beginning his 28th year forecasting hurricanes at Colorado State University.
“This active cycle is expected to continue for another decade or two.”
The North Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30.
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