Up to 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes predicted

(SNO) — Data released Tuesday by researchers at the North Carolina State University is predicting a normal hurricane season, with the potential of 13 to 16 named storms, 5 to 7 hurricanes and 2 to 3 major hurricanes.

The data was provided by to Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at NC State, and includes the entire Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

While the forecast is slightly higher than the long-term (1950 to 2018) average of 11 named storms, it is in line with the recent (1995 to 2018) average of 14, the university said.

The latest forecast predicts are more active season than that of Colorado State University’s below average findings last week, which forecasts 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

The NC State data predicts between 5 and 7 storms forming in the Gulf of Mexico, which is close to south states of the U.S. and cities such as Houston, Orlando and New Orleans. The others are predicted to form in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

NC State said its methodology evaluates more than 100 years of historical data on Atlantic Ocean hurricane positions and intensity, as well as other variables, including weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures, to predict how many storms will form in each ocean basin.

Mr. Xie noted that this year, the potential for the ongoing weak El Niño to strengthen injected significant uncertainty into the forecast.