Forecasters at Colorado State University have lowered their hurricane predictions for the year, based on below-average activity in August, as well as the ocean-weather patterns they track.
“We expect slightly above-average activity in September and that October will likely have below-average activity. We now predict that total seasonal activity will be slightly below the long-term average,” reported William Gray and Phil Klotzbach, the authors of the study.
The team still expects three hurricanes, two of them major, to form in the Atlantic basin this month. In October, the researchers said they expect two named storms, one hurricane, but zero major hurricanes. They have reduced the overall number of days they expect tropical storms and hurricanes to be active during September and October.
“Information obtained through 31 August 2006 shows that we have so far experienced only 18 percent of the average full season Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity,” they said. “We significantly over-estimated August activity. In an average year, 33 percent of the seasonal average NTC of 100 occurs before the end of August.”
The researchers said the reduced hurricane forecast “is due to an unexpected increase in tropical Atlantic mid-level dryness (with large amounts of African dust) and a continued trend towards El Niño-like conditions in the eastern and central Pacific.”
The latest forecast, as well as past forecasts and verifications, are available via http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts.
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