CCU releases 2014 Atlantic hurricane outlook

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina University's HUGO team released its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook Tuesday, predicting a "below to near normal" season. This prediction is similar to that released in April by Colorado State University, which forecasts a below-average season.

Coastal Carolina University's forecast predicts a total of nine to 11 named storms, three to six of which will become hurricanes (winds greater than 74 miles per hour), and one to two of those becoming major hurricanes (category three or higher). CCU's prediction states that the most likely scenario is that no hurricanes will make landfall in the United States; the second most likely scenario is that a hurricane will make landfall both on the East Coast and on the Gulf Coast.

The average Atlantic hurricane season consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Colorado State University expects nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane in the Atlantic basin. CSU cites two major factors for its prediction of a below-average season: cooler-than-average water temperatures in the Atlantic; and the likelihood of El Nino developing later this year.

Updated outlooks will be released throughout hurricane season in the months of June, July and August.

Regardless of current outlooks, it is always imperative to be prepared- these forecasts cannot accurately predict any details of any possible landfalls. Even quiet seasons can come with devastating storms- a perfect example being 1992. That year had only six named storms, yet produced Hurricane Andrew, one of the most destructive hurricanes in United States history.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends November 30.

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