Above-average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season ?

The Colorado State University (CSU) meteorological team is predicting an above-average 2013 Atlantic basin hurricane season.

The team says this due primarily to “anomalous warming” of the tropical Atlantic and expected lack of an El Nino event. CSU is in its 30th year of issuing Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts.

The team calls for 18 named storms during the hurricane season, which falls between June 1 and November 30. It said nine of those storms are expected to become hurricanes, four of which will be major hurricanes, with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour (MPH) or greater.

“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are unlikely,” said Phil Klotzbach, who authored the forecast with William Gray of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project.

“Typically,El Nino is associated with stronger vertical shear across the tropical Atlantic, creating conditions less conducive for storm formation," he added.

The team said its annual predictions are intended to provide a best estimate of activity to be experienced during the upcoming season, not an exact measure.