A forecast team from Colorado State University has predicted a low level of activity in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season.
Phil Klotzbach and William Gray of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project say there will be an average of 9 named storms, with three of those storms developing into 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 cooled over the past several months, and the chances of a moderate to strong El Niño event this summer and fall appear to be quite high,” Klotzbach said. “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions.”
The team predicts:
- A 35 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2014 (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
- A 20 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 19 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 2013 Atlantic hurricane season also was below average, with only two storms becoming hurricanes.
Although a calm season is predicted overall, Klotzbach cautioned coastal residents to take the proper precautions. "It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season," he said.
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.