Two months before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, Colorado State University researchers released their 2010 Atlantic hurricane season predictions based on 58 years of historical data, expecting it to be an above-average season due to the cooler ocean temperatures in the Pacific and warmer temperatures in the Atlantic. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which is officially from June 1 to November 30, has around 10 tropical storms, six of which have the chance to become hurricanes and 2 to become major hurricanes. But the predictions for this year show that 15 named storms might form in the Atlantic, eight of which may become hurricanes and four may be powerful hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph. There is a 44 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall on the East Coast, including Florida and the Gulf of Mexico oil patch, versus a long-term average of 30 percent, according to the researchers’ predictions. Meanwhile, AccuWeather predicted a potentially “extreme” hurricane season for 2010, with 16 to 18 tropical storms almost all of them in the western Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico, of which five hurricanes, two or three of them may be major and expected to hit the U.S. coast. However, it is the Colorado State University team predictions that are followed closely by the energy and commodity markets. Yet the team has repeatedly cautioned that the hurricane activity forecasts might be imprecise and can frequently miss predictions.

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