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Forecast continues to call for mild hurricane season

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Colorado State University’s forecast for eight named storms this season includes three — Ana, Bill and Claudette — which have already formed, the school said in a statement Tuesday.

The report from researchers in Fort Collins, Colorado continues to forecast a well-below-average 2015 hurricane season, calling for only two of the eight named storms to become hurricanes and just one to reach major hurricane strength, with sustained winds of 111 mph or more.

A strong El Niño as well as “continued unfavorable hurricane formation conditions in the tropical Atlantic” are the main culprits behind the below-average forecast for the season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The researchers base the forecast on over 60 years of historical data that include Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear, El Niño, and other factors, according to the statement.

“The tropical Atlantic continues to exhibit conditions that are less conducive for tropical cyclone formation, and a strong El Niño event has already developed,” Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the report, said in the statement. “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions.”

The latest report from the researchers also said that the probability that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S coastline is 23%, compared with a full-season average of 52% for the last century.

The probability of a major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. East Coast including the Florida panhandle is 12%, compared with a full-season average for the last century of 31%, according top to the report.