Forecast team predicts 'well below-average' hurricane season

Colorado State University forecasts 7 named storms


ORLANDO, Fla. – A top hurricane forecast team has predicted a "well below-average" tropical season for the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Colorado State University this week released its April forecast, which calls for seven named storms, three becoming hurricanes and one of them becoming a major hurricane.

"The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and the chances of a moderate to strong El Nino event this summer and fall appear to be quite high," said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the report. "Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions."

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, and Colorado State typically releases its latest, most accurate report in May.

An average year has 12 named storms, with six of those becoming hurricanes, three of them category 3 or higher.

Klotzbach said people living in coastal areas should still take precautions as "it takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season."