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10 STORM & SECURITY PROTECTION / FORECAST 2016 Hurricane forecasters like to remind us that even one hurricane can mean an "active season" if that one storm affects your area. So a season anticipating "average activity", which can be six or seven hurricanes, can be so much more active—especially when it follows two years of below-average expectations and you've allowed yourself to get used to no storms coming ashore. The early forecasts for the 2016 Atlantic Basin hurricane season range from "approximately average activity" to "significantly more active compared to averages." No matter how you read it, that means communities along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts should expect hurricanes this year. Ranges In April, the first outlooks for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season were released. In its forecast, the Colorado State University (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project expects the year to be close to the 29-year average, making it more active than recent below-average seasons. "We anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity," wrote Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the CSU forecast. Considering the median number of hurricanes from 1981 to 2010 is 6.5, that would be two or three more cyclones than in 2015, none of which seriously threatened the U.S. coast. In all, the CSU team anticipates 13 named storms this season and six hurricanes (including Alex, which formed in January), of which two will become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5). The Weather Channel takes that a step further. The 2016 hurricane season is expected to be "the most active since 2012," according to the forecast released by The Weather Company's Professional Division. The Weather Company licenses The Weather Channel. A total of 14 named storms and eight hurricanes, of which three will be major hurricanes, are forecast by The Weather Channel. The highest range for the season comes from a source close to the front. North Carolina State University (NCSU) researchers say this year's Atlantic hurricane season will be "significantly more active" compared to averages from the past 66 years. The U.S. coast can expect 15 to 18 named storms in the Atlantic basin, according to the research conducted by Lian Xie, a professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at NC State. Of those named storms, three to five may become major hurricanes, he adds. To reach his prediction, Xie analyzed more than 100 years of data about Atlantic Ocean hurricane intensity and positions to predict the number of storms that will form. Due for a Landfall Regardless of the number of hurricanes that form this sea- son, there is always the possibility of one making landfall. Going just by the numbers, it would seem reasonable to think that a season producing a high number of storms is more likely to have a hurricane make landfall than a season with a only a few storms, but that's not always the case. There are so many variables that affect a storm's track and intensity that even a season with few storms could have When Average Means Active After two seasons of below-average expectations, most forecasts for the 2016 hurricane season call for six to eight storms. SEASON FORECAST: The U.S. is due for another hurricane strike sooner rather than later. On January 14, Alex became not just the first named storm for the 2016 calendar year, but also the first named storm to form in the Atlantic in January since 1978, the first January-born hurricane since 1938, and just the fourth known storm to arrive in the month since records began in 1851. Photo courtesy of NOAA

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