NCSU researchers predict quiet hurricane season

The Atlantic hurricane season will be quieter than average, researchers at N.C. State University predicted Monday.

Only four to six named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic basin, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, between June 1 and Nov. 30, according to Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at NCSU. That compares to an average of about 11 named storms per year since 1950.

Of the named storms, Xie said, one to three may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, and only one may become a major hurricane, 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.

Last spring, Xie’s prognostication was spot on. He and his colleagues predicted eight to 11 named storms, with four to six becoming hurricanes and one to three major hurricanes. The season actually produced nine named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.