FORT COLLINS, Colo. (WTXL) -- The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University is expecting lower-than-average numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes to form in the Atlantic basin in 2015, according to its annual outlook released Thursday.
The research team led by Phil Klotzbach and long-time season prognosticator William Gray are forecasting seven total tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Three of those are likely to reach hurricane strength.
One of the hurricanes, the team says, will become a major hurricane, with winds reaching 111 mph or higher.
The researchers used many sources of historic and forecast data to derive the outlook. The team also cites the expectation of an El Niño weather pattern to develop during the season, which typically creates faster upper-level winds that disrupt the structure and circulation cycle of tropical systems. Slightly cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic may also limit the number of tropical cyclones.
The forecast numbers are all below the 30-year average figures of 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
The Atlantic basin hurricane season begins June 1.