(UPI) — A team of meteorologists, who predicted an above-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in April, decreased their forecast on Tuesday.
Colorado State University forecasters Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell released their July forecast, predicting a total of 11 named tropical storms during the 2018 season — four that will likely become hurricanes.
“We have decreased our forecast and now believe that 2018 will have below-average activity,” the report said. “The tropical and subtropical Atlantic is currently much colder than normal, and the odds of a weak El Niño developing in the next several months have increased.”
The average hurricane season hurricane season sees 12 named storms and six hurricanes and Colorado State predicted an above-averge season with 14 named storms and seven hurricanes in April.
The team also lowered its forecast of major hurricanes — Category 3 and above — from three to one and decreased the probability of a direct hit on the U.S. coast from a major hurricane from 63 percent to 39 percent.
Despite the decreased forecast, experts warned a single powerful storm can still lead to a devastating season.
“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them,” the forecast said. “They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”
CSU forecasters predicted a below-average 2017 hurricane season with 11 tropical storms producing just four hurricanes, when there were 17 tropical storms — 10 of which turned into hurricanes — and three major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria wreaked havoc on several U.S. states and territories, most notably Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.
The National Hurricane Center’s list of names for the 2018 hurricane season are: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie and William.
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