It may seem as though winter hasn’t fully left us, and yet, we’re a mere six weeks away from the beginning of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season. So, what are the weather gurus predicting for this year?
According to forecasters at Colorado State University, we’ll see an above-average Atlantic hurricane season. They’re predicting nine hurricanes, five of which are likely to be major, and a 70% chance that there will be at least one which hits the American coastline.
This forecast is actually a slight reduction from the one CSU issued last December, which predicted 16 named storms of which nine would turn into hurricanes, five of which would reach Category 3 or higher on the Saffir/Simpson rating scale.
Last year, there were 19 named storms making it the third most active season (tied with 1897 and 1995) in recorded history. Of those, there were 12 actual hurricanes (making it the second highest season, along with 1969), five of which were major.
The environmental factors determine this year’s prediction, which includes a 72% chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall in the U.S., include warm surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and neutral temperatures in the Pacific. The reduced prediction comes from cooling in the Atlantic and warming in the Pacific.
It’s important to remember that there is no homeowners insurance product specifically for hurricane protection. Instead, a combination of hazard insurance, wind insurance and flood coverage is required. If you live in or near a coastal area, consider checking your coverage now.