According to Dr. Phillip J. Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is forecast to present below average tropical activity.

Their outlook calls for 9 named storms and 3 hurricanes with one being considered major (category 3 strength or higher). These numbers fall below the annual averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Last week, reported on a preliminary December report in which the experts assessed expected conditions. The December findings gave a most likely scenario of 8-11 named storms, 3-5 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes-numbers that fall in-line with the annual forecast just issued. 

Klotzbach and Gray cited cooler than average sea surface temperatures and the possibility of an El Nino developing later this year as two factors which could quell development.

Notable for Gulf Coast interests, the experts calculated a 19% chance for a major hurricane landfall for areas between Brownsville, Texas and the Florida Panhandle. That number falls below the annual average of 30%.

29 years of data and past hurricane seasons are used in formulating this forecast.

In the report, despite a quieter than average forecast Klotzbach and Gray remind coastal residents "that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them... prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much or how little activity is predicted."

Image: WBRZ