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Hurricane season may be less active than first thought

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Tropical storm Franklin passed through Merida last August. Photo: Getty

Hurricane season could be slightly less active than originally predicted.

Weather experts from Colorado State University are predicting an average hurricane season due to cooler waters in the Atlantic Ocean.

That’s a departure from their initial forecast early last month of above-average activity. At the time, forecasters admitted it was too early to be sure.

The team’s next official forecast will be released May 31, one day before the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts through November.

“The Atlantic always warms up in the summer, but it doesn’t seem like it’s suddenly going to start warming up a lot faster than normal,” Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the university’s Department of Atmospheric Science.

His comments were captured at the 32nd annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday.

Warm water fuels hurricanes. For a hurricane to form, thunderstorms or another type of weather disturbance must pull in warm surface air over ocean water that is at least 80 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The ocean temperature just north of the Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands is just short of that mark, according to NOAA, which will release its own hurricane forecast on Thursday.

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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