|DominicanToday.com - In its early forecast for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season AccuWeather.com says it will be not only more active than last year, but sees the potential for an "extreme season" with above-normal threats.
The forecast was led by chief long-range meteorologist and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who believes this year will be more like the 2008 hurricane season than the much quieter 2009 season.
There were 17 named storms in 2008, eight of them hurricanes, including Ike, which ravaged the upper Texas coast. In 2009, only two storms (one of which was a hurricane) made landfall, both along the Gulf Coast, making it the least active Atlantic hurricane season since 1997.
The forecast mirrors other early-season prognostications in terms of more tropical activity than last year. It projects 16 to 18 storms (hurricanes and tropical storms), 15 of which are expected to occur in the western Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially posing a threat to U.S. coastlines.
Seven hurricanes are forecast by AccuWeather, five of them major (Category 3 or stronger). Two or three major hurricanes are projected to make landfall, with seven total storms doing so, though the forecast did not specify region with the greatest likelihood of landfall by the storms.