Hurricane season predictions released

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The hurricane forecasting team at Colorado State University is predicting an above-average 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.

The team slightly reduced its early December prediction, but still called for an active season, based on current La Niña conditions that are expected to transition to near-neutral conditions during the heart of the hurricane season.

The team now calls for 16 named storms, instead of 17, to form in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Nine of those are expected to turn into hurricanes, with five developing into major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

Other predictions

  • A 72 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2011 (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
  • A 48 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31 percent).
  • A 47 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville, Texas (the long-term average is 30 percent).

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