Forecasters: Florida Has Better Than Even Chance Of Hurricane This Year

Forecasters who bring us annual predictions about the Atlantic storm season are out with a new and ominous foretelling about the current year.

Colorado State University researchers say unusually warm water in the Atlantic Ocean has them now predicting a 61 percent chance that Florida will get hit by a hurricane of some magnitude this season. That compares with historical average of a 51 percent chance that Florida will be struck by a hurricane in any given year.

The Colorado State prediction goes on to say that there is a 27 percent chance the hurricane that hits Florida will be major, compared to a historical average of 21 percent.

Florida is now in peak months of Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico storm activity, and there have already been five named storms, including Tropical Storm Emily, which hit Tampa Bay before proceeding across the state and out into the Atlantic.

In fact, the 2017 hurricane season is already showing characteristics similar to 1953, 1969, 1979, 2001 and 2004, which were years of numerous and destructive hurricanes including Hurricane Charley and Frances.

“In general, most of these seasons experienced somewhat above-average activity, with 2004 being an extraordinarily active season,” said Phil Klotzbach, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science and lead author of the report, to the Colorado State University.

Photo: noaa

Overall, Colorado State researchers predict 16 named storms this Atlantic hurricane season, with eight of those becoming hurricanes, and three of those becoming major hurricanes of at least Category 3 strength.

Right now Tropical Storm Franklin continues to build and strengthen east of Mexico. The storm has no threat to Florida, but brings the total to six named storms in the Atlantic Tropical so far this year.