2013 Hurricane Season: ‘Above Average’ Forecast

2013 Hurricane Season: 'Above Average' Forecast (Image 1)

Forecasters at Colorado State have released their predictions.  The 2013 hurricane season is expected to be 'above average.'

The forecast calls for 18 tropical storms, nine of which will strengthen into hurricanes.  Four of these hurricanes will be major with sustained winds of at least 111mph. 

Hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 30th.  An average season brings around 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists say this season is expected to be busier because of two reasons.  The first is the warm water in the Atlantic Ocean.  Hurricanes thrive on warm water. 

The second reason is there is little expectation of an El Nino effect this summer and fall.

El Nino is a warming of surface waters in the tropical Pacific.  This usually happens every 4 to 12 years.  It's a weather phenomenon that affects much of the globe.

It makes it harder for storms to develop into hurricanes in the Atlantic-Caribbean basin.

Forecasters say there is a 72% chance that a major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast this year.  The historical average is 52 percent.

There is a 48% chance a major hurricane will hit the U.S. East Coast.  The historical average is 31%. 

Looking back at 2012, the season brought 19 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes, including Hurricane Sandy.

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