HOUSTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Forecasters from Colorado State University (CSU) stressed uncertainty in their latest outlook on Thursday for the current Atlantic hurricane season, even as they held steady the number of storms expected.
This year’s hurricane season, which began on June 1, is shaping up as a battle between an El Nino weather pattern, which can blow storms apart, and the record hot sea waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean that fuel storms, the forecasters said.
The meteorologists continued to forecast 18 named tropical storms for the hurricane season, which ends on Nov. 30, nine of which are expected to become hurricanes, four of which will be major, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (179 kph).
The average number of tropical storms for the previous 30 years is 14, producing seven hurricanes, three of which are major.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a forecast in May predicting 12 to 17 tropical storms, five to nine of which will be hurricanes and with between one and four of those becoming major.
So far this year there have been five storms, according to CSU, an unnamed subtropical storm in January, three in June and one in July.