ORLANDO, Fla – Fresh off of a record-breaking hurricane season in which 30 named storms formed, another active year is expected, according to Colorado State University hurricane researchers.
On Thursday, the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project released its annual hurricane season outlook. They predict 17 named storms with eight of those storms becoming hurricanes and four of those storms becoming major (Cat 3+) hurricanes.
CSU is also forecasting a 75% chance a hurricane tracks within 50 miles of Florida. The chance of any named storm tracking within 50 miles of the Sunshine State rises to 96%. The probability of a major hurricane within 50 miles is 46%.
Florida leads the country in each probabilistic category according to CSU’s forecast. The climatological percentage of a hurricane tracking within 50 miles of Florida is only 58%.
To evaluate conditions for the coming season the research team bases its forecasts on a statistical model, which takes into consideration a number of factors including the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and data from 40 years of historical hurricane seasons.
The models factor in Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels, El Niño and other factors.
“All of our analog seasons had above-average Atlantic hurricane activity, with 1996 and 2017 being extremely active seasons,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1.