Colorado State University researchers have increased their forecast for the Atlantic Basin hurricane season, now predicting an “extremely active” period of two dozen named storms.

The university, which issues hurricane forecasts throughout the season, released its latest predictions on Wednesday, stating that it anticipates 24 named storms, including 12 hurricanes, five of which will become major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.

Hurricane season this year has already been very active, with nine named storms, including two hurricanes (Hanna and Isaias). This is the first season on record where this many storms have formed by 1 Aug.

The Colorado State University team estimates that before the season ends in November, there will be an additional 15 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.

The university’s initial forecast, in April, called for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. In early July, the team upped that prediction to 20 named storms.

In their 5 Aug. report, the CSU team also predicts an above-normal probability of major hurricanes making landfall in the Caribbean and along the continental United States coastline.

The forecasters said there was a 63% chance of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean, and a 74% chance of one hitting the US.

In the report, forecasters Philip Klotzbach, Michael Bell and Jhordanne Jones said they had revised their earlier predictions in part because average surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic are much warmer than normal, El Nino has weakened, and vertical wind shear is well below average – conditions that promote hurricane formations.

The team stated that they plan to release two-week forecasts every other Monday until the end of the season.

“As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” the CSU forecasters advised in their report.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which runs the US National Hurricane Center, is set to release its update on the hurricane season tomorrow (6 Aug.)

Read Colorado State University’s full report here.

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