Slighty “Below Average” Activity Expected for 2012 Hurricane Season


It’s that time of year again.

Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University released their updated extended range forecast for the 2012 hurricane season on Friday, June 1.

The meteorologists, who have been issuing the forecasts for 29 years, are predicting about five hurricanes, 13 named storms, 50 named storm days, 18 hurricane days, two major (Category 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes and four major hurricane days.

Those figures are down from an average of 5.9 hurricanes, 9.6 named storms. 49.1 named storm days, 24.5 hurricane days, 2.3 major hurricanes and 5 major hurricane days.

The new forecast increased the number of storms likely to form from the Tropical Meteorology Project’s original predictions, which were issued in April.

Klotzbach and Gray, however, are still calling for a “slightly below” average hurricane season, even though two tropical storms have already formed, TS Alberto and TS Beryl.

“Our early June forecast includes Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl which formed prior to 1 June,” according to the Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “Our prediction for the remainder of the season is for 11 additional post-1 June named storms.”

Storms forming before the start of hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and runs through November 30, are not an indication that the season is going to be an active one, according to the forecast.

“Pre-1 June activity has very little bearing on the rest of the hurricane season,” according to the report. “The only two seasons on record with two named storms prior to 1 June were 1887 and 1908. While 1887 was a very active season, 1908 had average levels of activity.”

“The last season with a U.S. landfall prior to 1 June was 1976, which was a relatively quiet season,” according to the report. “Information obtained through May 2012 indicates that the 2012 Atlantic

hurricane season will have slightly less activity than the average 1950-2000 season.”

The development of El Nino either early or late the summer caused the meteorologists to inch their predictions higher.

“We have increased our numbers slightly from our early April forecast, due largely to our uncertainty as to whether an El Niño will develop later this summer and to marginal Atlantic basin conditions,” according to the forecast. “A brief update on El Niño conditions may be issued prior to the next forecast update on August 3 if conditions warrant. We anticipate a slightly below-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall.”

While the meteorologists are calling for a below-average hurricane season, all residents should still be prepared for the worst.

“We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” according to the Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “However, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

To read Klotzbach and Gray’s entire report, go to