This year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be about average, according to researchers at N.C. State University.
That means 11 to 15 tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, says Lian Xie, a professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences. The average number of named storms per year from 1950 to 2014 is 11.
Of this year’s named storms, Xie said, four to six may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, and one to three may become major hurricanes, with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.
Xie bases his predictions on more than 100 years of historical data on the positions and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, as well as other variables such as weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures. He does not, however, predict where the storms will go or how many will make landfall.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.