Tuesday, May 22 2012, 07:57 PM EDT
2012 hurricane season predictions
The last time a big storm hit South Florida was seven years ago when Hurricane Wilma came ashore. But will our luck run out this year? Forecasters at Colorado State just released their predictions for the Atlantic season.
Forecasters from Colorado State anticipate less activity with fewer storms than what we're used to. Bill Gray and company forecast 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and only 2 of those major storms. This is below the average of 11 storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
Their forecast calls for a 24-percent chance of a major storm making landfall somewhere along the east coast of the U.S. That's below the average of 31-percent.
Why the quieter season? Water temperatures over the Atlantic are cooler than average. El Nino is due back later this summer. Those warmer than normal water temperatures in the east Pacific cause wind shear over the Atlantic which helps to disrupt storms from developing.
That wind shear if strong enough cuts off the upward flow of air through a storm. This can prevent or reduce its development. Despite the quieter season ahead, experts have an important message for all of us.
Dan Brown/National Hurricane Center: I would stress to people not to pay too much attention to the seasonal outlook. Know that the hurricane season is right around the corner if you're the one to get hit.
This means you should still stock up on hurricane supplies and have your hurricane plan in place just in case.