09 April 2008 17:51 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Meteorologists at Colorado State University (CSU) issued a forecast on Wednesday calling for an active hurricane season in 2008.
The meteorologists expected 15 named storms to form in the Atlantic basin during the hurricane season from 1 June through 30 November.
Out of those storms, eight could become hurricanes, the meteorologists said. Of those eight, four could become major hurricanes, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles (179 km)/hour.
The prediction is for a much more active season than the historical data for the US Gulf, which on average faces each season about 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major storms.
A major hurricane has a 69% likelihood of making landfall on the US coast, compared with an average of 52%, the meteorologists said.
The Gulf coast has a 44% chance of being hit by a major hurricane, compared with an average of 30%, the university said.
The hurricane season is crucial because of the oil and natural-gas infrastructure concentrated on the Gulf coast. Because of logistic challenges, those deep-sea platforms are often evacuated early. Shipping and port movement can also be affected, as can on-land chemical production facilities.
The forecast is based on surface-water trends in the Atlantic Ocean. Temperature patterns match those that precede active hurricane seasons, the researchers said. Water-temperature trends in the Pacific Ocean and wind patterns in the Atlantic also point to an active hurricane season.
CSU is scheduled to release more forecasts on 3 June, 5 August, 2 September and 1 October.
In 2007, the university's hurricane forecast exceeded the number of major storms.
source: Colorado State University
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