The project predicts 11 tropical storms - four becoming hurricanes - and two of those becoming major hurricanes, slightly below the long-term average of 12 storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major ones.
This year's forecast includes 11 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.
Klotzbach's hurricane season forecast provides an idea of how many storms might form, but it does not indicate where the storms will make landfall.
Regardless of the numbers, Kevin Peters, the Leon County Emergency Management director, reminds people that it will only take one storm in a season to cause havoc (he used Hurricane Andrew as an example).
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Their forecast is calling for a marginally below normal hurricane season.
El Nino events are characterized by cooler-than-average temperatures in parts of the tropical Pacific.
Images following Hurricane Charley show the power of the Category 4 storm that hit Southwest Florida on August 13, 2004. That year was an average year for hurricane activity.
Klotzbach says his next round of predictions for the season will be released on June 1, the first day of hurricane season.
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It was the costliest Atlantic hurricane season since 2012, AccuWeather said.
One of the country's lead experts on hurricanes predicted the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be a slightly below-average one. By the end of November, there were 15 named storms, and seven hurricanes. The chance for a hurricane landfall on the Florida Peninsula and the East Coast of the U.S.is 24%, with 31% being the average.
Such conditions "are associated with a more stable atmosphere as well as drier air, both of which suppress organized thunderstorm activity necessary for hurricane development", the posting said.
However, the researchers noted that uncertainty has played a large role in their forecast this year.
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The Pennsylvania-based company is forecasting 10 named storms, including five hurricanes and three major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.