Researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season this year.
Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University released their annual hurricane season prediction on Thursday. They say the “relatively high likelihood” of a weak El Niño will lead to slightly below-normal hurricane activity in 2019.
The forecast released Thursday predicts 13 named storms this hurricane season and five hurricanes. The average numbers are 12 named storms and six hurricanes.
The forecast also estimates two major hurricanes this season, just below the average of three. A major hurricane is a storm that reaches Category 3, 4 or 5.
“We anticipate a slightly below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the
continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” the research team said.
The team predicts hurricane activity this year will be about 75 percent of the average season. Last year’s hurricane activity was about 120 percent of the average season with devastating Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The Colorado State research team reminds everyone living along the coast to be prepared for hurricane season regardless of forecasts and predictions.
“Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” the team said. “They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”