FORT COLLINS, Colo., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Long-range hurricane forecaster William Gray of Colorado State University is predicting another busy year in 2005 but nothing like this year.
Gray's forecast team said it does not expect the large number of intense hurricanes or landfalling storms like the four that savaged Florida in August and September.
Gray expects 11 storms next season, including six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This year there were 15 named storms, nine hurricanes and six intense hurricanes.
The long-term averages are 9.6 tropical storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major storms.
"We believe that 2005 will continue the trend of enhanced major hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin that we have seen over the past 10 years, and we expect this active hurricane era to span the next two or three decades," Gray said.
"Our in-depth analysis of current and projected global atmospheric and oceanic predictors through November indicates that the 2005 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be an active one with tropical cyclone activity about 115 percent of the average season," he said.