United States

Researchers revise outlook for above-average hurricane season

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Way Williams, 65, and his wife Jennifer, 60, stand holding hands at Bay Vista Park, as Elsa strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane hours before an expected landfall on Florida's northern Gulf Coast, in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S. July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

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HOUSTON, July 8 (Reuters) - Researchers from Colorado State University boosted their prediction for named tropical storms in the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season in a revised forecast issued on Thursday.

Colorado State meteorologists predicted 20 named storms, up from 17 in their forecast issued in April.

The forecasters also increased the number of expected hurricanes to nine from eight.

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Colorado State continues to expect four major hurricanes.

The total number of forecast named storms includes the five named storms so far in 2021. The season's first hurricane, Elsa came ashore on the west coast of Florida on Wednesday.

"Elsa’s development and intensification into a

hurricane in the tropical Atlantic also typically portends an active season," the report said. "We anticipate an above-normal probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean."

This year is forecast to be the sixth straight above-average U.S. Atlantic hurricane season. The record 2020 season had 30 named storms.

The revised Colorado State forecast is in line with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) outlook issued in late May.

NOAA forecasters called for between three and five major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 kph) in 2021.

NOAA also forecasts between six and 10 hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph (119 kph) to form out of between 13 and 20 named tropical storms with winds of at least 39 mph (63 kph).

An average hurricane season in the Atlantic between 1991 and 2020 saw three major hurricanes, seven hurricanes and 14 tropical storms.

The hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.

The Colorado State forecast also said there is a 68% chance at least one major hurricane will strike the U.S. coast. The average for the 20th century is 52%.

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Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio

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