Hurricane forecast falls

| 07/04/2009

(CNS): The Hurricane experts at Colorado State University have scaled back their earlier predictions for this coming season in the Atlantic and now say it will be an average season with 12 named storms, including six hurricanes but warn two of them could be major. Researchers William Gray and Phil Klotzbach earlier predicted an above-average season with 14 named storms — seven of them hurricanes and three major.

Today, Gray said the forecast was dialed down because of improved chances of El Nino conditions that suppress hurricane formation. This is Gray’s 26th year of forecasting hurricanes and his predictions are watched closely by emergency responders and others but critics say such long-range forecasts have little practical value beyond focusing public attention on the danger.

Despite the critics however, the prediction goes on and various other forecasters have predicted the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, will be less active than last year but busier than an average season. Last year was one of the most active seasons on record, with 16 tropical storms. Eight of those became hurricanes and five grew to Category 3 or higher, the most destructive type.

NOAA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will issue a pre-season forecast on 21 May 21. Gray and Klotzbach will update on 2 June 2 and the UK Met Office will issue a forecast in June.

 

 

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