STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 11 (UPI) — The upcoming hurricane season may be a very active period for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coastlines, AccuWeather.com’s chief hurricane forecaster says.
Meteorologist Joe Bastardi Tuesday reiterated his preliminary hurricane forecast issued in March, predicting 16-18 storms during the June 1-Nov. 30 season. He noted during only eight years in the 160 years of records have 16 or more storms formed in a season.
He also said he expects an early start to the season, with one or two hurricanes forming by early July and additional threats extending well into October.
He forecasts at least six of the storms will impact the United States.
“From the standpoint of number of storm threats from the tropics to the U.S. coastline, we will at least rival 2008, and in the extreme case, this season could end up in a category only exceeded by 2005,” Bastardi said.
He cited a rapid warming of the Gulf of Mexico and the collapsing El Nino pattern for the heightened forecast activity. Both situations were characteristic of the busy 1998 and record-setting 2005 hurricane seasons.
Bastardi said the Atlantic basin looks textbook perfect for major hurricane activity.
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