CHARLOTTE, NC (Bruce Henderson/The Charlotte Observer) - This year's Atlantic hurricane season will be about normal, compared to past those of past decades, researchers at North Carolina State University say.
Eleven to 15 tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic basin including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, said Lian Xie, a professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences. The average from 1950 to 2014 is 11 named storms.
Four to six storms may grow strong to hurricane strength, Xie said, down from the average six. One to three storms could become major hurricanes.
The hurricane season runs from June through November.
Xie's forecast is roughly in line with one from Colorado State University last week, which predicted 11 named storms including four hurricanes and two major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin.
Xie bases his storm forecast on more than 100 years of historical data on hurricane positions and intensity, as well as other variables including weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures.
In the Gulf, he expects four to seven storms to form, higher than the average three, with one or two storms becoming hurricanes. In the Caribbean, he predicts two or three tropical cyclones with one or two forming hurricanes.