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Forecasters: 75% Chance Of Major Hurricane Hitting U.S. Coast; Colin Fizzles

NU Online News Service, Aug. 04, 2:27 p.m. EDT

Get ready for the possibility of nine more hurricanes in the Atlantic before Nov. 30.

The team of hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University said conditions for storms are ripe and they are sticking by an early Atlantic hurricane forecast of 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes and five major hurricanes for the season.

The forecasters said there is a 75 percent chance post July 31 that at least one major hurricane will hit the U.S. coastline--about a 50 percent chance each for landfall on the East Coast, including Florida, and the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas.

A major hurricane is defined as a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with sustained winds of 111mph or more.

There have been three named storms this season, most recently Colin, which has since fizzled. The National Hurricane Center gives the storm about a 20 percent chance of re-forming into a tropical storm in the next 48 hours.

The 2010 hurricane season began with Hurricane Alex in late June near the Yucat?n Peninsula.

The Colorado State forecasting duo--Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray--have noticed warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic. "These very warm waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are very conducive for an active Atlantic season," said Mr. Klotzbach.

In June the forecasters called for the same amount of storms this season.

Long-term (1950-2000) averages for an Atlantic hurricane season are 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes per year.

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