The upcoming hurricane season may be slightly below-average, according to an early forecast from scientists at Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project. Long range sea surface temp (SST) models are hinting at warmer conditions, hinting at a development of at least a weak El Niño later in the summer. That tends to increase wind speeds over the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart developing storms.
The report also cites the cooling of the tropical Atlantic and much of the North Atlantic as a factor for the lower activity.
El Nino creates stronger westerly winds that can work to shred hurricanes in the Atlantic during storm season. Two of those hurricanes would be category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (winds 110 mph).
Another thing to keep in mind this year, Klotzbach said, is that there has been a lot of late-season hurricane activity in recent years. Data suggests the probability of landfall over the last century is 84 percent. A below-average season just means the number of storms in the basin will be below-normal.
The CSU team will issue forecast updates on June 1, July 3 and August 2.
Researchers are forecasting eleven named storms. William Gray launched the report in 1984 and continued to be an author on them until his death previous year.
"Our predictions are our best estimate, but there is with all forecasts an uncertainty as to how well they will verify", the report said.
Bell cautioned coastal residents to take proper precautions.
"Even if our forecasts are dead on flawless, we can't predict where the storms are going to go", he said, "and it only takes one for it to be an active season for you".
Still, regardless of the overall activity level, for those living on the coast "it takes only one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season" - a reminder the report includes annually. The chances of a hurricane striking the entire coastline -from ME to the U.S.
"There is going to be a risk this hurricane season", Peters told us Friday afternoon.