Chances of an Atlantic hurricane making landfall in the United States this year are well above average, according to a forecast released April 6 by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.
The forecast predicts 16 named storms this season, compared to an annual average of 9.6 named storms annually from 1950 to 2000; and nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes in 2011, compared to an average 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes in the last half the 20th century.
Colorado State University researchers say the probability of a major hurricane hitting the entire U.S. coastline is 72 percent, versus an average 52 percent for the last century, and the chance of striking the U.S. East Coast, including Florida peninsula is 48 percent, compared to an average 31 percent. The Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville faces a 47 percent chance of a hurricane making landfall this year, compared to an average 30 percent probability last century.
"Overall, conditions remain conducive for a very active hurricane season," the report states.