FLORIDA, United States, Monday July 4, 2016 – An update in predictions for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season point to an increase in the number of expected storms. It is anticipated it will be the most active season since 2012.
The highly respected Colorado State University (CSU) on Friday released an adjusted forecast which projects 15 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes, close to the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
That forecast includes Hurricane Alex, a rare January hurricane, and tropical storms Bonnie, Colin and Danielle which previously formed, so it is expected there will be about 11 more storms before the November 30 end of the season.
The CSU team, headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach, said this forecast is based on an extended-range early July statistical prediction scheme that was developed utilizing 34 years of past data.
“The two primary factors that we think may lead to an average season are the potential development of a weak La Niña and cooler-than-normal far North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. La Niña tend to favor an environment more favorable for Atlantic hurricane formation, while cool far North Atlantic sea surface temperatures may force higher-than-normal pressures and stronger trades in the tropical Atlantic for the peak of the hurricane season,” the CSU said.
“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,” it further warned.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its forecast at the end of May, calling for 10 to 16 named storms, 4 to 8 hurricanes and 1 to 4 major hurricanes.
It said at the time that while there is a 45 percent chance of a near-normal, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season.