STATE COLLEGE, Pa., March 30 (UPI) -- Forecasters say an active 2011 Atlantic hurricane season will see more landfalls along the U.S. coastline than last year.
Meteorologists at Accuweather.com are predicting a total of 15 named tropical storms, eight of which will attain hurricane status and three of which will grow to major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher.
A normal year sees 10 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes and two of which become major hurricanes with winds that exceed 110 mph, an Accuweather.com release said Wednesday.
"It looks like we're going to have more impact on the mainland of the U.S. coming up this year compared to last year," Accuweather hurricane forecaster Paul Pastelok said. "We had a lot of storms last year, but not a lot of impact [on the U.S.]."
The forecasters say they base their predictions on past years that have similar weather variables and patterns that closely resemble the most recent fall, winter and early spring months.
"We feel that this season, there will be a higher potential for impacts across the southern part of the Basin into the Gulf of Mexico during the first part of the season," Pastelok said. "This higher potential for impacts shift farther north into the southeast U.S. during the latter half of the season."
Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.