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Near-average Atlantic hurricane season predicted


The Atlantic basin should experience nearly average hurricane activity this year, according to a prominent academic research group.

“We continue to anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity,” said the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, in an analysis released Wednesday — the first day of this year's Atlantic hurricane season. “The current weakening El Niño is likely to transition to weak La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.”

The Wednesday forecast calls for 14 named storms this hurricane season, including two that occurred before the official start of the season, That compares with a median 12 named storms during the 1981-2010 period.

The Tropical Meteorology Project projects that six hurricanes will develop during the season, down slightly from the 6.5 median during 1981-2010. Two of those hurricanes will grow into “major” hurricanes packing sustained winds in excess of 111 mph, according to the Colorado State researchers.