Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Weather Services Forecasters issued their forecast for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season which begins June 1, leaving an expectation of 15 tropical storms, with eight evolving into hurricanes. Of those, four are expected to strengthen into major hurricane of Category 3 or above on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which mean the storm packs sustained winds of 111-130 mph and is expected to cause serious damage.
Each of the forecasts exceeds what is considered the historical average hurricane season, although what is defined as “average” varies somewhat according to the source. Predictions for 2011 do fall within the level of activity that has occurred during an active tropical period that began in 1995, says Crawford. Since 1995 the season has averaged 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four intense hurricanes. The 2010 season, one of the most active in recent decades, brought 19 tropical storms. Twelve of those became hurricanes and five grew into major hurricanes.