CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It will be another busy hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin.
Phil Klotzbach and William Gray announced their 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast on Wednesday. Their forecast calls for 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four of which expected to reach major hurricane status.
An average season sees 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three hurricanes with winds greater than 110 mph.
Klotzbach and Gray are basing their predictions on an unusually warm Atlantic Ocean and the unlikely appearance of El Nino this hurricane season. El Nino helps to inhibit tropical storm formation in the Atlantic. It creates strong vertical wind shear which tends to rip storms apart before they can become organized.
The Atlantic basin also remains in an era of increased tropical intensity, an environment where more hurricanes tend to form.
The Colorado State University climatologists put the odds of at least one major hurricane striking the East Coast of the United States at 48-percent, which is slightly higher than the long term average of 31-percent.
They put the odds at an above-average 72-percent for the entire United States coastline, over the long term 52-percent.
The 2012 Hurricane Season ended with 19 named storms, including 10 hurricanes. That made it the third busiest season on record, tied with the hurricane seasons of 1887, 1995, 2010 and 2011.
Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization Committee. That storm had tremendous impacts from Jamaica to Cuba and to the mid-Atlantic United States back in October 2012. Sandy is the 77th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954. It will be replaced with “Sara” beginning in 2018.
2013 List of Names