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Colorado State forecasters again hike projections for Atlantic storm activity

Forecasters from Colorado State University continue to call for a very active period in the Atlantic Basin for the remainder of the current hurricane season.

The Atlantic Basin hurricane season, which started June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, has seen five named storms and is projected to feature 11 more. Additionally, the season could see eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes at Category 3 strength or higher.

"We have maintained our forecast for above-average Atlantic hurricane activity. ENSO-neutral conditions appear likely to persist, and most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic is anomalously warm and is likely to remain so," the forecasters said.

El Niño is the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters and occurs every two to five years, on average, typically lasting about a year in length and causing episodes of strong westerly winds in the tropical Atlantic, which inhibit the development of storms during the hurricane season.

"The probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean is above-normal due to the forecast for an above-average season," the CSU forecast said.

The CSU forecasters said the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire U.S. coastline is still about 62% of the long-period average, while the chances of such a storm hitting the Gulf Coast is still pegged at 38%. The likelihood of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean is 51%.

In 2016, the Atlantic hurricane season saw 15 named storms, seven of which became hurricanes.

The CSU forecasters will not issue any further hurricane outlooks for this season.