Forecasters predict 16 named storms for this hurricane season

By by Dianna Wray
April 6, 2011 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2011 at 11:06 p.m.

Hurricane season is around the corner, and forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting an above-average 2011 season.

In their 28th year of issuing predictions, the Colorado State University forecast team calls for 16 named storms to come from the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30, the span of the official hurricane season, according to a news release issued Wednesday. The team predicted that nine of those storms will turn into hurricanes, with five of those storms developing into major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or greater.

The team used 29 years of historical data to make its forecast, looking at the history of oceanic and atmospheric conditions such as, La Nina, El Nino, sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures and other factors to make its predictions.

Last April, the forecasters predicted 15 named storms with eight of those becoming hurricanes. There were 12 hurricanes and 19 observed storms in 2010.

John Metz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi, said the National Weather Service won't make any predictions about the coming hurricane season until it gets closer.

Metz said the National Weather Service looks at a variety of factors including the jet streams around the globe, temperatures of the ocean to make its predictions.

Metz said they are still analyzing La Nina, and won't make predictions about how it will impact the season until the end of May.

"We just wait until all of the information is in before predicting the hurricane season, because there's a lot that could still change," Metz said.

Jeb Lacey, emergency management coordinator for Victoria County and the city of Victoria, said that while they keep an eye on predictions made by both Colorado State University and the National Weather Service, city officials don't base their preparations on those predictions.

Victoria's emergency management team stays ready for each hurricane season, Lacey said.

"As we like to remind people, it only takes one hurricane to make it a busy hurricane season for Victorians, so preparation is important," Lacey said.



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