The star forecasters at Colorado State University are revising their predictions for the 2009 hurricane season down due to cooler ocean temperatures, Reuters reports. Between June and December, the Atlantic will see 12 tropical storms, six of which may develop into hurricanes. Two of those hurricanes could blow harder than 110 mph, making them Category 3 storms. The team originally forecast three major storms.
Lower sea temperatures impede the formation of hurricanes, and the Pacific’s activity may also act to calm the Atlantic. “If El Niño conditions develop,” the lead forecaster said, “it would tend to increase levels of vertical wind shear and decrease levels of Atlantic hurricane activity.” Other weather watchers were generally in line with the Colorado team, though a British group expects 3.6 major hurricanes.