Colorado State researchers forecast 'below-average' 2017 hurricane season

Hurricane Matthew in 2016

Top forecasters anticipate a below-average 2017 hurricane season.

CSU's forecast is calling for 11 named storms; four hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

The announcement was made at the National Tropical Weather Conference Thursday morning.

Even though Colorado State's forecast for this year calls for a less active season and below normal chances of a storm making landfall, Klotzbach said it's important for residents up and down the coast to keep their guard up. That compares with 2016's season that produced hurricane activity that was about 135 percent of the average. Klotzbach and Bell based their prediction on the expectation that water temperatures in the central Pacific will warm, what is often referred to as El Nino conditions.

The forecasters cite the cooling tropical Atlantic over the past month and the now colder than normal North Atlantic as inhibiting factors that tend to "force atmospheric conditions that are less conducive for Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification".

In addition to the projected number of named storms, CSU also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall in its annual report.

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For the entire USA coastline, the chances of a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm making landfall are 42 percent.

A few things are leading researchers to conclude this will most likely be a below average season.

"The big factor is going to be the fact that we now believe El Nino will come on board some time during the summer and will continue all the way through the rest of the hurricane season", said AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. Hurricane season in the Atlantic will officially begin June 1 and end November 30.

Such conditions "are associated with a more stable atmosphere as well as drier air, both of which suppress organized thunderstorm activity necessary for hurricane development", the posting said. There is slightly better news than expected for those along the East Coast.

One of the country's lead experts on hurricanes predicted the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be a slightly below-average one.

This is the team's 34th forecast. Four people died in SC, and a fifth during the clean up.

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