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Active hurricane forecasts in 2011

April 28, 2011

The Colorado State University hurricane team predicts an above-average hurricane season.

The Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU is calling for a highly active Atlantic basin hurricane season in an early forecast for 2011.

"The U.S. was extremely lucky in 2010 in that none of the 12 Atlantic basin hurricanes that formed crossed the U.S. coastline," said Philip Klotzbach, a team spokesperson. "On average, about one in four Atlantic basin hurricanes makes U.S. landfall, and therefore, we would expect to see more land falling hurricanes in 2011.

The team anticipates 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater for the 2011 hurricane season, which starts June 1 through Nov. 30.
The CSU hurricane forecast team predicts a 73 percent chance that at least one major hurricane hit the U.S. coastline in 2011.

"There is significant uncertainty with this earliest outlook, issued six months prior to the start of the hurricane season," said Klotzbach. "Given the current upper ocean heat content anomalies in the tropical Pacific, we believe that El Nino conditions are unlikely. This could mean a more active hurricane season."

The team will issue seasonal updates of its 2011 Atlantic basin hurricane activity forecast on April 6, June 1 and Aug. 3.

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