Colorado State updates long range hurricane season forecast

The 2017 hurricane season begins runs June 1 to November 30


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Colorado State University has updated its long range forecast, the only change was to raise the number of named storms from 11 to 14, both of those numbers include Arlene. Here is the latest from their discussion;

We have increased our forecast and now believe that 2017 will have approximately
average activity. The odds of a significant El Niño in 2017 have diminished somewhat,
and portions of the tropical Atlantic have anomalously warmed over the past two months.
While the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, the far North Atlantic remains colder
than normal, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal
Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making
landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. 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. They should prepare the same for every
season, regardless of how much activity is predicted. 

The 2017 Hurricane Season begins on June 1st, but one storm is already behind us. Tropical Storm Arlene, only the second named Atlantic tropical system to form in April since the advent of the satellite era (1960), formed Thursday April 19 in the central Atlantic, about midway between Bermuda and the Azores Islands. It was 2,300 miles east-northeast of Jacksonville and grew to have 50 mph sustained winds Thursday night and Friday morning. The storm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Friday morning as it became embedded within a larger extratropical cyclone.  Arlene never affected anyone or made landfall. 

Despite the rare early start to the season, the long-term predictions for this year come in very close to average in terms of number of storms. At the start of April, Colorado State University offered an early season hurricane forecast prediction that 2017 will be just shy of average. They think there will be 11 named storms, of which, four will become hurricanes, and two will become major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger).

An average season in the Atlantic consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. The group’s predictions will be updated on today at 11 a.m, July 3 and August 2.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA,) predicts a slightly higher than average season, calling for 11-17 named storms of which 5-9 of them will intensify to hurricane strength, and 2-4 of them would reach Category 3 or higher hurricane strength. 

Much of the discussion about the 2017 Hurricane Season in Northeastern Florida includes lessons learned from last year's Hurricane Matthew. Don't miss tonight's hour-long prime time special,  A Disaster Named Matthew, at 8 p.m. for an in-depth look at the damage we saw, and how lucky we got with the wobble that saved us from hurricane force winds and devastating storm surge. 

One of the lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew, was that most people do not fully understand how their renter's, homeowner's, or flood insurance work in the event of a storm. In many policies, a special hurricane deductible applies and it is often times much higher than your normal deductible. It is highly recommended that you review your policy with your insurance agent and go through different scenarios so you know what to expect. 

A valuable resource to prepare your home and family for hurricane season is our extensive Hurricane Guide, which includes preparation checklists and special sections to review to help you with your pets, homes, and other special needs that may require more attention during a storm. You can access the free guide here...

Don't worry too much about this month, only 6% of storms form in June and only 8% of storms form in July. August and September are the months that see the highest percentage of systems forming - August typically produces 27% of the season's storms and September produces 34%. Storms forming drops down to 17% in October and dwindles down to 5% in November.  

The 2017 names for Hurricane Season start with Arlene and ends with Whitney, hopefully we will not end up going through them all. 


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