NEW ORLEANS — The Atlantic hurricane season in 2015 will see fewer than the average number of storms, according to Colorado State University researchers.
Researchers Philip Klotzbach and William Gray say in a news release Thursday that cooler ocean temperatures and the expectation that favorable atmospheric conditions will continue through the summer months will mean fewer hurricanes.
They say the Gulf Coast and East Coast both have a 15 percent chance of getting hit by a hurricane this season, well below the average for the last century of 30 percent.
Their forecast calls for seven named storms, of which three will become hurricanes with wind speeds of 74 mph or higher.
The 2014 season featured the fewest number of named storms in 17 years (eight storms), but also featured the strongest landfalling hurricane in the mainland U.S. in six years (Hurricane Arthur on the Outer Banks), and featured two back-to-back hurricane hits on the tiny archipelago of Bermuda (Fay, then Gonzalo).
Furthermore, six of those eight storms became hurricanes, and Gonzalo was the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Igor in 2010.
In 1983, there were only four named storms, but one of them was Alicia, a Category 3 hurricane which clobbered the Houston-Galveston area.
The 2010 season featured 12 hurricanes and 19 named storms, which tied 1995 for the third most named storms in any Atlantic season, at the time. But not a single hurricane, and only one tropical storm, made landfall in the U.S during that active season.
In other words, a season can deliver many storms, but have little impact, or deliver few storms and have one or more hitting the U.S. coast with major impact.
Therefore, it's important to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical stormsevery year, regardless of seasonal forecasts.
The federal forecast will be released later this spring.
Posted on Fri, April 10, 2015
by The Lafourche Gazette