Dr. William Gray and his team have lowered their December forecast slightly. They are now calling for 16 named storms this year.
“But we keep calling for nine hurricanes for the coming year and five major hurricanes.”
Major hurricanes, according to the Saffir/Simpson category 3-4 or 5 storms are those with winds of 111 mph or grater.
Gray says the conditions for an active season are that the surface water temperatures in the Atlantic are above average while the surface pressures are expected to be below average. In addition, the vertical wind shears in the main development area in the deep tropics coming west from Africa are expected to also be lower than average.
“So over all we think we’ll have a pretty active season much like last year was very active. We probably won’t be quite as active as last year”
Gray says conditions have been favorable for active hurricane seasons since 1995 and may remain that way for another 10 to 15 years.
He says he’ll update the hurricane forecast the first of June and again in August, just before the most active part of the season.
For the updated forecast version, visit hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/.