Colorado State University has reduced its predicted number of hurricanes this season, calling for a closer-to-average year.
The university’s April forecast called for a slightly above normal season.
The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project is predicting 13 additional named storms (Subtropical Storm Alberto formed last week) during the Atlantic hurricane season.
Of those, researchers expect six to become hurricanes and two to reach major hurricane strength.
Including Subtropical Storm Alberto, the forecast is for 14 total named storms in 2018.
The average season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
Lead author of CSU’s forecast, Phil Klotzbach, said the atmosphere is exhibiting characteristics similar to the 1986, 2001, 2012 and 2014 hurricane seasons.
Two of the years, 1986 and 2014 were below average seasons, while 2001 and 2012 had above average activity.
The formation of an El Nino is the big question mark at this point, but Klotzbach said cooler waters in the tropical Atlantic is what prompted CSU to reduce the forecast slightly.
Earlier this month, the federal Climate Prediction Center forecast a normal to slightly above normal hurricane season with as many as 16 named storms.