Fresh off of Tropical Storm Elsa impacting the Sunshine State, Colorado State University rereleased an update to its hurricane season forecast, WKMG-TV Meteorologist Jonathan Kegges reports.
The university is now predicting 20 named storms, with nine of them becoming hurricanes. Four of those storms are expected to become major hurricanes — Category 3 or above. The increased forecast includes the five named storms that have already developed this season.
CSU’s forecast has increased slightly with each update:
|Named storms||Hurricanes||Major hurricanes|
|Forecast issued in July||20||9||4|
|Forecast issued in June||18||8||4|
|Forecast issued in April||17||8||4|
There is also an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental U.S. and Caribbean.
According to CSU, the increased forecast is a result of:
- Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic increasing to near or slightly above normal levels.
- The lack of El Nino during the peak of hurricane season. El Nino helps to suppress tropical development.
- Very robust West African monsoon season to date. Increases the intensity of tropical waves off of Africa.
- The development and intensification of Elsa.
The next update from CSU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will come in early August, just prior to the peak of hurricane season.