Scientists predict 8 hurricanes for rest of Atlantic season

- Two months into the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season, not one tropical storm has strengthened into a hurricane. But don't get complacent. The Atlantic could still see as many as eight hurricanes form in the Atlantic before the season ends in November, according to one predictor.

Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project predicts that the remainder of 2017 will have about 8 hurricanes, 11 named storms, 64 named-storm days, 35 hurricane days, three major (Category 3 to 5) hurricanes, and seven major hurricane days. All of these numbers are above average.

"The probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean is above-normal due to the forecast for an above-average season," according to Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell of the Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU. "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 Tropical Meteorology Project made predictions based on probabilities of tropical cyclones making landfall along the United States coastline from Brownsville, Texas, to Eastport, Maine.

On their report, the scientists wrote that the probability of a major hurricane (Category 3, 4, or 5) making landfall somewhere along the East Coast (including Florida) is 38 percent. At least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean has a 51 percent chance, they wrote.

The chance of a hurricane making landfall in the New York area is low but certainly not dismissible. New York has a 10-percent chance of being impacted by a hurricane and a 4-percent chance of being affected by a major hurricane. New Jersey's chances are 2 percent and less than 1 percent, respectively.

"There remains considerable uncertainty surrounding this outlook," the scientists wrote because "the far North Atlantic remains cooler than normal, and the Caribbean has had anomalously strong shear over the past few weeks."

Remember: A storm doesn't have to make landfall at hurricane strength to be deadly or devastating. In 2011, Irene came ashore in New Jersey as a tropical storm and moved north, causing significant flood damage to parts of New Jersey, Long Island, upstate New York, and Vermont.

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