Colorado State University Hurricane Forecast Team Calls for an Active October

Note to Editors: This forecast contains an individual prediction for October Atlantic basin hurricane activity. It should not be considered a new seasonal forecast. A full report is available with the news release at and at

Well above-average hurricane activity is expected for the month of October, the Colorado State University forecast team said today.  This is in line with their very active, full-season forecasts for 2008.  

The individual month of October is expected to experience three named storms. The CSU team calls for two of the three storms to become hurricanes and one to become a major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane. Overall, the forecast team expects activity to be nearly twice the activity of the average October.

Through September, this season has experience 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. There have been 74.5 named storm days so far, which is nearly twice the number of named storm days expected through the end of September. Overall, Net Tropical Cyclone activity through September is about 155 percent of the long-period average through September.

"We expect the month of October to be quite active," said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the hurricane forecast. "We continue to observe low sea level pressures and warm sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic. A combination of these two factors typically leads to an active October.  In addition, we continue to observe neutral ENSO conditions in the tropical Pacific, so we do not expect that ENSO conditions will be detrimental to this year’s October activity."

"We predict that October will be quite active based on climate signals through September," said William Gray, who has been issuing hurricane forecasts at Colorado State for the last 25 years. "There has been a strong clustering of hurricane activity around mid-July and late August-early September. We think we are now entering a new period of heightened activity that is likely to go for another two to three weeks."

Three named storms forming during a very active July (Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly).  Bertha became the longest-lived July storm on record, while Hurricane Dolly made landfall in south Texas as a Category 2 hurricane.

August had slightly above-average activity due largely to Hurricane Gustav which became a major hurricane in the northwest Caribbean late in August and made landfall in central Louisiana on September 1.

September also had slightly above-average activity.  Several storms formed during the early portion of the month, with Hurricane Ike being the most notable storm.  Ike battered the Caribbean before slamming into the eastern Texas coast as a Category 2 hurricane.  Hanna and Kyle also reached hurricane strength during September.  

The Colorado State team continuously works to improve forecast methodologies based on a variety of climate-related global and regional predictors.

For a detailed description of the many detailed forecast factors, visit the Web at

The team will issue a verification of all 2008 Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts on Nov. 24.