Busy 2011 Hurricane Season Predicted for United States

The 2011 hurricane season in the United States could be especially busy and dangerous. according to the latest of a string of predictions made by the leading forecasters.

Accuweather, in issuing its annual hurricane forecast, called for a hurricane season with 15 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes with sustained winds of greater than 130 miles per hour. If this holds true, the 2011 season would become one of the most active in history.

Areas of Concern

Accuweather’s main areas of concern: the Texas Gulf Coast in the early season. Then the danger zone turns toward the Southeast Florida Coast and the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Virginia in the mid-season. Even the Northeast could be affected in September and October as 2011 begins to wind down.

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, although storms have formed outside of those dates.

Accuweather blames a La Nina weather condition in the equatorial Pacific that favors the development of hurricanes. A La Nina is a condition that occurs when the waters of the Pacific turn colder than normal.

Also, Accuweather believes the positioning of the long-term Bermuda High that forms in the western Atlantic Ocean could position itself in a way that steers storms toward the East Coast this year.

CSU Annual Hurricane Prediction

Accuweather’s hurricane prediction sounds bad enough if taken alone. However, Accuweather’s forecast basically reaffirms those of Colorado State University, Weather Service International and the National Weather Serivice’s Climate Prediction Center.

According to CSU’s 2011 Hurricane Season prediction, the forecasting team led by Philip Klotzbach and William Gray forecasts 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes. The team predicts an above-average likelihood of hurricanes making landfall along the Texas, Florida and Southern Atlantic coasts.

This follows a busy 2010 season in which there were 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes. Though it was the third-busiest season on record, only Tropical Storm Bonnie and Tropical Storm Hermine made landfall in the United States.

Weather Services International

Weather Services International, a part of the Weather Channel Companies, delivered a 2011 hurricane season forecast that called for 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and five intense hurricanes.

National Weather Service Prediction

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s long-range precipitation forecast calls for wetter-than-normal conditions in Florida during the summer, indicating the likelihood of increased tropical storm activity.