Updated hurricane season forecast calls for fewer stormsBy DAVID FLESHLER
May 31. 2018 9:38PM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A closely watched hurricane forecast provided some good news on a stormy Thursday, despite last week’s premature start to hurricane season.
Colorado State University announced a slight reduction in its initial forecast for hurricane season and now calls for a six hurricanes rather than seven.
The university’s Tropical Meteorology Project also reduced its forecast for major hurricanes — those with winds of 111 mph or higher — from three to two.
The university cited the likely absence of El Nino, a warming of the Pacific Ocean west of South America that causes high-altitude windshear that tears apart incipient hurricanes. And it said unusually cool temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean would deprive hurricanes of the warm water that fuels them.
Despite last week’s appearance of Subtropical Storm Alberto, a full week before the “official” start of the season, the Colorado forecast reduce the number of likely storms from slightly above-average prediction issued April 5.
The Colorado State forecast falls at the low end of a forecast released last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which called for five to nine hurricanes, of which one to four would be major hurricanes.
The Colorado forecast calls for a total of 13 named storms, which means tropical storms or hurricanes. Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.