CCU Scientists: Zero hurricanes to make landfall on Gulf or East Coast

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Grand Strand area hasn't had a major hurricane since 1989 when Hugo swept through; and if CCU's newest predictions hold true, we won't see one this season either.

In its 2014 Hurricane season forecast, scientists with CCU are expecting a below to near normal season with zero hurricanes making landfall on the Gulf or East Coast this year, about 10 tropical storms and they say three to six hurricanes will arise but they'll stay out to sea.

"We are very confident that our model system is working quite well," says Lead Scientist Len Pietrafesa.

Pietrafesa says the group of scientists used a complicated scientific algorithm to come up with their predictions. They considered 22 factors - everything from rainfall in western Africa to atmospheric pressure taken in Iceland.

"So it's not a regression that we are using," he said. "We are actually using real conditions that are present with these climate factors," Pietrafesa added.

This is the second year CCU has published predictions, putting the university on the map with Colorado State University - a school leading the way with research that's been making predictions for years.

Last year CCU predicted one hurricane would make landfall and none did.

Although zero hurricanes are predicted to make land fall this year, it's not something you should completely rely on.

Pietrafesa says he wants CCU science to be a useful tool for emergency management planning and broadcasters. He also says you should always stay prepared because conditions change daily.

Pietrafesa says the group plans on updating its hurricane forecast at the end of June and again at the end of July.

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