Forecasters see calmer hurricane season


All clear for Easter.

The chance of a hurricane blowing across St. John later this year is markedly less than usual, according to scientists at Colorado State University.

The two men, Philip Klotzbach and William Gray, are nationally known for their hurricane outlooks.

For the 2012 seaso, which begins June 1, they say there is a 34% probability of at least one major storm (category 3,4 or 5) tracking into the Caribbean.  Over the last century, the average probability has been 42%. The scientists say the tropical Atlantic has cooled more than normal, perhaps making a hurricane less likely.

Klotzbach and Gray suggest the 2012 season could produce 10 named storms, two of them to be classified as 'major'.

For the entire coastline of the US, there is a 42% a storm will make landfall; the average for the last century is 52%.

The scientists cautioned against letting your guard down. "Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season," they said.

"Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict this season's hurricane activity in early April," Klotzbach and Gray added. "We issue these forecasts to satisfy the curiosity of the general public."

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