One of the nation's earliest and most highly anticipated hurricane forecasts is to be released Wednesday.
Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project's first long-range seasonal forecast for the Atlantic basin, its latest, was released in December. Headed by William Gray, the project Wednesday will make its second set of predictions the last to come before the onset of the Atlantic hurricane season June 1.
The Dec. 7 forecast predicted 13 named tropical storms (compared to 9.6 on average) and 7 hurricanes (compared to 5.9 on average). It predicted three intense hurricanes, that is Category 3 storms or higher (compared to 2.3 on average).
All signs pointed to a slightly above-average chance of storms making landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Florida and elsewhere on the East Coast, and the Caribbean.
The other major hurricane forecasts for the U.S. come from the National Hurricane Center.
The 2007 hurricane season recorded more named tropical storms than average, and was notable for rapidly intensifying hurricanes, including the first back-to-back Category 5 landfall storms ever recorded. But the overall number of hurricanes and intense hurricanes fell short of predictions, much to the relief of the millions living in the path of hurricanes.
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