The Tropical Meteorology folks over at Colorado State (the Klotzbach and Gray group) are forecasting another busy season this year with 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes (5 of which will intense hurricanes). It's similar to their forecast this time last year but with fewer hurricane days.
According to their summary of last year's season, last year's season turned out to be a dud (thankfully) because of El Niño. With it dissipating, this year could turn out to be a busy one. I hope the storms continue to stay away from here though. They also predict a 73% probability of a tropical storm making landfall along the east coast, 66% for a Cat 1-2 hurricane and 50% for a Cat 3-5 hurricane. The probabilities in the Lowcountry area are much lower though.
The NHC forecast will probably be similar, although it'll be a few more weeks before that one comes out.
Information obtained through March 2007 indicates that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be much more active than the average 1950-2000 season. We estimate that 2007 will have about 9 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 17 named storms (average is 9.6), 85 named storm days (average is 49.1), 40 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 5 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 11 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 140 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2007 to be about 185 percent of the long-term average.
This early April forecast is based on a newly devised extended range statistical forecast procedure which utilizes 40 years of past global reanalysis data and is then tested on an additional 15 years of global reanalysis data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We have increased our forecast from our early December prediction due largely to the rapid dissipation of El Niño which has occurred over the past couple of months. Currently, neutral ENSO conditions are observed. We expect either neutral or weak-to-moderate La Niña conditions to be present during the upcoming hurricane season. Tropical and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures remain well above their long-period averages.