A forecast team from Colorado State University has predicted a high level of activity in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season, with an above average chance for a major hurricane to hit the United States coast or the Caribbean.
Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project say there will be an average of 18 named storms, with nine of those storms developing into hurricanes (four into major hurricanes) in the Atlantic this season, which runs from June 1 through November 30. The historical seasonal average is 12 tropical storms, with 6.5 of them becoming hurricanes.
“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Nino event this summer and fall are unlikely,” Klotzbach said. “Typically, El Nino is associated with stronger vertical shear across the tropical Atlantic, creating conditions less conducive for storm formation.”
The team predicts:
- A 72 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2013 (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
- A 48 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31 percent).
- A 47 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville (the long-term average is 30 percent).
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was above average, tying 2011 and 2010 for the most named storms since 2005. The 2012 Atlantic season tied with the 2011, 2010, 1995 and 1887 Atlantic hurricane seasons for the third largest number of named storms with 19. There were 10 hurricanes in 2012, two of which were major hurricanes.
Clay Electric Cooperative offers lots of information to help its members prepare for the possibility a hurricane may strike North Florida, including a Hurricane Preparedness Guide .Copies of the Preparedness Guide will be available online and at the cooperative’s six district offices in June. The guide contains a hurricane checklist, information on generator safety, helpful websites and a hurricane tracking map to help members stay safe during storm season.