Weather forecasters are saying that we can expect more active hurricane seasons for at least the next ten years so there is no reason to suggest that the next few years will be significantly quieter than the last couple of years.
Hurricane predictions for 2010
The team led by Professor William Gray from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University have made their first predictions for hurricanes in 2010. In December 2009, they forecast an above average 2010 season with between 11 and 16 named storms, six to eight of them hurricanes of which three to five will become major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater with sustained winds of 111 mph or more). This is similar to their 2008 and 2009 predictions.
They are also predicting that there is a 64 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the United States coastline during 2010 (average is 52%) with a 40 percent chance (average is 31%) for the eastern Florida peninsula and a 40 percent chance (average is 30%) for the Gulf Coast. These figures are slightly up on last year's predictions.
They usually issue revised forecasts in early April, June and August and in June they amended their forecast to up to 18 named storms, ten hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
Predictions have also been released by WSI, a private forecasting company. They are forecasting up to 13 named storms with up to 7 hurricanes or which 3 could be major hurricanes
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) usually put out their first predictions in May of each year and this year they issued their first forecast on May 27.
They are predicting anything between 14 and 23 named storms with 8 to 14 hurricanes or which 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes. This is a very active season prediction and well above the predictions of both the Colorado and WSI teams.
Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University team have over estimated named storms and hurricanes in recent years.
Storm names for 2010
The names for tropical storms and hurricanes in 2010 are as follows: Alex (H2), Bonnie (TS), Colin (TS), Danielle (H4), Earl (H4), Fiona (TS), Gaston (TS), Hermine (TS), Igor (H4), Julia (H3), Karl (H3), Lisa (H1), Matthew (TS), Nicole (TS), Otto (H1), Paula (H2), Richard (H1), Shary (H1), Tomas (H2), Virginie and Walter.
Friday, November 5: Hurricane Tomas has strenthened back to hurricane status with wind speeds of 80 mph, tracking NNE at 9 mph as it passes between Cuba and Haiti. It is expected to continue on its current heading across the Turks and Caicos Islands before veering onto a more easterly course.
Tomas has strengthened and weakened over the past few days. It formed on Saturday and had been expected to become a major hurricane.
Saturday, October 30: Hurricane Shary formed on Friday with wind speeds of 40 mph, tracking NW at 23 mph. It quickly increased to a hurricane category 1 with wind speeds of 75 mph and turned north east threatening Bermuda before dissipating.
Sunday, October 24: After reaching category 1 hurricane status with wind speeds of 90 mph, Richard has now reverted back to a Tropical Storm as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula tracking WNW at 12 mph with wind speeds of 65 mph.
It is expected to weaken and veer onto a more northerly track as it enters the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Richard formed on Thursday off Honduras and turned onto a westerly heading towards the Yucatan Peninsula like Paula before it. It made landfall south of Belize City.
Wednesday, October 13:Tropical Storm Paula is currently over northern Cuba tracking ENE at 6 mph with wind speeds of 70 mph. It has weakened from a category 2 hurricane having passed some 60 miles east of Cancun with wind speeds of 100 mph.
Hurricane Paula quickly formed off the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday.
Friday, October 6: Tropical Storm Otto formed off the Grand Turks on Wednesday. It has now strengthened to a category 1 hurricane tracking ENE at 17 mph with wind speeds of 75 mph.
It will not be a threat to the US mainland as it is forecast to veer eastwards back into the Atlantic.
Wednesday, September 29: Tropical Storm Nicole has formed over Cuba tracking NNE at 9 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph. It is not expected to strengthen but will pass close to Miami as it tracks into the Atlantic bringing heavy rain to much of Southern Florida.
Saturday, September 25: Tropical Storm Matthew has weakened to a Tropical Depression as it tracks across the Yucatan Peninsula WNW at 15 mph with wind speeds of 35 mph. It had been expected to strengthen to a category 1 hurricane as it first made landfall in Nicaragua but this did not materialise.
Despite weakening, it is estimated that many people may have died in the aftermath of Matthew from mud slides caused by heavy rain in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, about 130 miles (220 kilometres) south east of Mexico City.
Matthew formed in the South west Caribbean and is forecast to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and on into the Gulf of Mexico.
Saturday, September 25: Tropical Storm Lisa briefly strengthened to hurricane category 1 status before weakening again. It is tracking NNW at 12 mph with wind speeds of 70 mph. It is expected to weaken further over the next 48 hours.
Lisa formed West of the Cape Verde islands and is not expected to threaten the US Eastern seaboard.
Saturday, September 18: Hurricane Karl has made landfall just north of Veracruz on the Mexican Gulf Coast after crossing the Yucatan Peninsula and strengthening briefly to a category 3 hurricane to become the fifth major hurricane of the season.
Sunday: September 19: Hurricane Julia has now weakened to a Tropical Storm and is currently tracking NNW at 16 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph. It had quickly strengthened to major hurricane status (category 3) with wind speeds of 125 mph making it the fourth major hurricane of the season. Hurricane Julia formed south of the Cape Verde islands. It has taken a more easterly path than Igor and passed over 700 miles to the east of Bermuda.
Monday: September 20: Hurricane Igor has passed very close to Bermuda and is now tracking NNE at 21 mph with wind speeds of 75 mph (category 1) and is continuing to veer onto a more north-easterly track. It has produced dangerous rip currents along the US eastern coastline.
Hurricane Igor rapidly gained strength, becoming the third major hurricane of the season with wind speeds of 150 mph. It formed South East of the Cape Verde islands.
Monday: September 6: Tropical Storm Hermine has formed in the South West Gulf of Mexico and is currently tracking NW with wind speeds of 45 mph. It is expected to strengthen slightly before making landfall near Brownsville in Texas in the next 24 hours.
Friday, September 3: The season is heating up as Tropical Storm Gaston formed, again west of the Cape Verde Islands with another disturbance also starting to form south of the islands.
However, it has now weakened to a Tropical Depression and has started to break up. It had originally been expected to become a hurricane by the weekend and was forecast to hit the eastern Caribbean Islands.
Friday, September 3: Hot on the heels of Hurricane Earl is Tropical Storm Fiona which is taking a similar track. It is now starting to veer towards the North, tracking NNW at 17 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph and could threaten Bermuda in the next 24 hours.
Unlike Earl, it is not expected to strengthen significantly and will probably remain a Tropical Storm as it starts to veer towards the north.
Friday, September 3: Having briefly re-strengthened back to a category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 145 mph, Earl has now started to weaken again. It is currently tracking NNE at 18 mph with wind speeds of 105 mph.
Having passed the Eastern Carribbean islands, it tracked along the Florida coastline about 350 miles offshore bringing 13 foot waves to places like Cocoa Beach. Dangerous rip tides and storm surges are expected all along the Atlantic coastline as Earl ploughs northwards.
Earl also formed west of the Cape Verde Islands but has taken a more westerly track before veering northwards and is the second major hurricane of the season.
Sunday, August 29: Hurricane Danielle is the second hurricane of the 2010 season and the first major hurricane. Having strengthened to a category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 135 mph, it has now weakened but is still a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 85 mph.
It has passed Bermuda and is now heading NNE at 26 mph. One result of Hurricane Danielle is dangerous rip currents along the Atlantic coast.
Danielle formed as a Tropical Storm on Monday west of the Cape Verde Islands.
Sunday, August 8: Tropical Storm Colin has been reduced to a Tropical Depression as it passes 50 miles to the west of Bermuda with wind speeds of 30 mph. At one stage it had been expected strengthen as it veers more easterly.
On Wednesday it dissipated down to a disturbance but was expected to reform which it subsequently did. Colin formed in the Atlantic some 800 miles east of Antigua with wind speeds of 40 mph on Tuesday. It started moving WNW at 24 mph and was expected to strengthen slightly as it veered onto a more northerly track.
Saturday, July 24: Bonnie is now a tropical depression as it approaches New Orleans with wind speeds of 30 mph.
Tropical Storm Bonnie developed on Thursday around 200 miles south east of Nassau, Bahamas heading NW. It crossed the Florida Keys and moved into the Gulf but was not expected to reach hurricane status. It has veered onto a more northerly track as it approaches the Louisiana coastline on Sunday.
Thursday, July 1: Hurricane Alex is both the first storm and first hurricane of the 2010 season. It briefly made category 2 status with wind speeds of 100 mph before making landfall for a second time on Thursday morning about 120 miles south of Brownsville, Texas on the Mexican Gulf coast. It is currently tracking WSW at 10 mph with wind speeds of around 80 mph.
As it passed over the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, Tropical Storm Alex was downgraded to a Depression but became a Tropical Storm again as it passed back over water.
Tropical Storm Alex formed off the coast of Belize on Saturday. It started tracking WNW with wind speeds of 45 mph and was forecast to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and then continue across the southern end of the Gulf of Mexico.
Last year in 2009 NOAA originally predicted that there would be between 9 and 14 named storms, with six to nine becoming hurricanes, of which two to five could become major hurricanes.
In August they upgraded their forecast to the number of tropical storms being between 14 to 18 named storms and four to seven hurricanes and up to three major hurricanes. They subsequently downgraded this to 7 to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes and one to two major hurricanes.
In the end, there were nine named storms of which three became hurricanes and one became major hurricanes.
In 2008, they had predicted up to between 12 and 16 named storms and in the end there were 16 named storms of which eight became hurricanes.