(Bloomberg) -- Two top forecasters are trimming their Atlantic hurricane outlooks slightly after a slow start to the season, but still predict an above-average number of storms.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now expects 14 to 20 named storms, down from its May estimate of as many as 21. Earlier Thursday, Colorado State University lowered its overall forecast to 18 from 19. Both outlooks cited cooler water in the tropical Atlantic for the decrease.
An average season has 14 storms, which are named when their winds reach 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. So far only three storms have developed in the Atlantic since June 1, but that isn’t an indicator of how active the season will be.
“While the tropics have been relatively quiet over the last month, remember it only takes one landfalling hurricane to make it an active season,” said Matt Rosencrans, lead hurricane seasonal forecaster at the US Climate Prediction Center. “ You can get very active years with these lull periods in them.”
The period from August 20 to the beginning of October is typically the most active for tropical storms and hurricanes across the Atlantic. Colorado State said there is a 75% chance that the US coast from Texas to Maine could get hit by a major hurricane, topping the 20th-century average of 52%.
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