Florida, Texas and North Carolina Remain Highest Hurricane Risk

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

Three states remain at highest risk of a destructive hurricane losses in 2012, although the overall probability of landfall in the current season is below longer-term norms, according to the latest extended forecast by Colorado State University (CSU) researchers.

Florida has a 47% probability of any named hurricane hitting the state in 2012 and a 19% chance of a major hurricane (category 3, 4 or 5) making an impact. Texas is second, with 30% chance of any hurricane hitting the Lone Star State and 11% of a major hurricane.

North Carolina is third with 26% of any named hurricane impacting the state and 7% chance of a major hurricane hitting in 2012.

All probabilities for each state, however, are between one and three percent below their longer term averages, said CSU researchers William Gray and Philip Klotzbach in their June 1 report calling for a less active storm season.

“We foresee slightly below-average activity for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season,” the updated report issued Friday says. “We anticipate a slightly below-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall.”

Despite the call for a quieter North American hurricane season, CSU did revise its forecast upwards for the over number of storms in 2012 to 13 tropical storms (from 10) and five hurricanes (from four). The number of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. remained at two.

The revisions were made from CSU’s April forecast based on changes in atmospheric conditions, the researchers noted.

“We have increased our numbers slightly from our early April forecast, due largely to our uncertainty as to whether an El Niño will develop later this summer and to marginal Atlantic basin conditions,” the report said.