An active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season appears likely based on the latest predictions of the major forecasters.
In its just-released forecast, Colorado State UniversityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Tropical Meteorology Project is predicting 18 named tropical storms, including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes (Category 3-4-5).
The CSU team also put the probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall at about 140 percent of the long-period average. It says:
We anticipate an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to the combination of an anomalously warm tropical Atlantic and a relatively low likelihood of El NiÃƒ ±o. Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.Ã¢â‚¬
Meanwhile, London-based consortium Tropical Storm Risk is calling for 15 named storms, of which it predicts eight will become hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. TSR forecasts Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity at about 30 percent above the 1950-2012 long-term norm, but slightly below the recent 2003-2012 10-year norm.
And Weather Services International just issued its forecast of 16 named storms, nine hurricanes and five intense hurricanes, but added that this still may be a bit conservative if the warm tropical ocean temperatures persist heading into the season.
Updated forecasts will be released around June 1, when hurricane season opens.
Also check out this recap of the 2012 hurricane season, courtesy of NOAA Visualizations: