Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 to be least active Atlantic hurricane season in decades per Colorado State forecasters citing cool Atlantic waters and El Nino

4/9/15, "Hurricane season predicted to be least active in decades,", Terrebone Parish, Louisiana, Mike Hill, City Editor

"Colorado State University forecasters predict the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century.” 

The prediction issued today calls for seven named storms and three hurricanes — one that could be major as a Category 3 or higher. But forecasters say there is a below-average probability of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. coastline and in the Caribbean.

A moderately strong El Niño will develop in summer and fall, which is expected to reduce storm formation, the forecasters said. 

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. But the Atlantic basin remains relatively cool.

“Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions,” lead forecaster Phil Klotzbach said.

The university team headed by Dr. William Gray says there is a 15 percent chance of the Gulf Coast — from Brownsville, Texas, to the Florida Panhandle seeing at least one hurricane make landfall, compared to a 30 percent average over the last century.

Klotzbach said the season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, is exhibiting characteristics of last year's season, which was about 75 percent of average.

The 2014 season saw eight named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, none of which made it to Louisiana. The last hurricane to hit the area was Isaac in 2012. 

Despite the prediction for a quiet season, Klotzbach warned residents to not let their guard down.

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,” he said."


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