Meteorologists revise hurricane forecast

Aug. 3, 2006 at 2:58 PM

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. hurricane forecasters Thursday revised downward their 2006 hurricane season projections.

The meteorologists at Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project reduced their forecast for named Atlantic tropical storms to 15, down from the 17 they forecast on May 31. The number of hurricanes expected to form was estimated at seven, down from the previous forecast of nine.

But the weather experts said they still foresee an active Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season that ends Nov. 30.

"We estimate that 2006 will have about 7 hurricanes (the average is 5.9), 15 named storms (average is 9.6), 75 named storm days (average is 49.1), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 3 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 8 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0)," said meteorologists Phil Klotzbach and William Gray.

They estimated the probability of a major hurricane making a U.S. landfall to be about 40 percent above the long-period average.

The hurricane forecast was revised due to small changes in June-July atmospheric and oceanic data indicating less favorable conditions for cyclone development in the tropical Atlantic, the meteorologists said.

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