Published: 2015-04-13 13:11:00
Updated: 2015-04-13 16:31:49
Posted April 13, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will be significantly less active than average, researchers at North Carolina State University said Monday.
Lian Xie, a professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at N.C. State, forecasts four to six named storms forming in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The average number of named storms since 1950 has been about 11.
Of the 2015 named storms, one to three may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, and only one may become a major hurricane, Xie said.
His methodology evaluates more than 100 years of historical data on Atlantic Ocean hurricane positions and intensity and variables such as weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures to predict how many storms will form in each ocean basin.
In the Gulf of Mexico this year, his data indicate the likelihood of one to two named storms forming and one becoming a hurricane. In the Caribbean, one to two tropical cyclones may form, with one becoming a hurricane.
The Atlantic basin hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
N.C. State collaborators on the research include Montserrat Fuentes, a professor of statistics, Marcela Alfaro-Cordoba, a graduate research assistant in statistics, and Bin Liu, a research assistant professor in marine, earth and atmospheric sciences.
The group said the forecast should not be a cause for complacency in hurricane disaster preparation, noting it takes only one storm landfall to create devastating loss and damage, such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992.