Colorado State University hurricane expert Dr. William Gray has upgraded his hurricane forecast for the season, predicting from 15 to 20 named storms, 10 of which will be hurricanes during the 2005 hurricane season. He predicts there will be from four to six intense hurricanes.
“We foresee one of the most active hurricane seasons on record,” Gray said in a statement on the university website. “An above-average probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is anticipated. We have adjusted our forecast upward from our (May 31) forecast.”
According to the Ft. Myers News Press, Gray’s team kept the probabilities of a storm making landfall in the continental United States at 77 percent. The team actually dropped the chance of a storm making landfall along the U.S. East Coast to Tampa by 1 percent to 58 percent. That number is nearly double the 31 percent average.
The announcement came just days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration upped its numbers of expected named storms to 18 to 21, up from 12 to 15 during its May forecast.
Gray’s team is specific about its forecasts, while NOAA offers ranges.
Gray increased his number of hurricanes from eight to 10 and the number of intense hurricanes from four to six.
Both increases are based on the very active early part of the hurricane season in which seven named storms formed before the end of July.
The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The 50-year average for named storms is 10, with six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes.
Gray’s team reports there has been no favorable change in conditions in the Atlantic to prevent storms from striking the coastline.
A strong high-pressure system near Bermuda could continue to steer storms toward the East Coast — as it did in 2004 — sending a record four hurricanes into Florida, including Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
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