SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Meteorologists from Colorado State University predict an above-average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, with 18 tropical storms, of which 9 will be hurricanes.
A typical year, based on weather records that go back to 1950, has 12 tropical storms, of which 7 are hurricanes.
A tropical storm has sustained winds of 39 miles per hour. It becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph.
The prediction was released Wednesday morning by meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray at Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project.
Gray’s team was the first organization to issue seasonal hurricane forecasts back in 1984; this is the team’s 30th seasonal hurricane forecast.
The team’s forecast in 2012 — 10 named storms and 4 hurricanes — was far below what actually occurred: Last year, 19 storms formed, including 10 hurricanes. This included Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the New Jersey coast last October. Three straight Atlantic hurricane seasons have had 19 storms.
This forecast is for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Klotzbach says that of the 9 predicted hurricanes, 4 should be major hurricanes — Categories 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.