Colorado State University has released it's 34th annual pre-season hurricane forecast for 2017. They are predicting a slightly slower hurricane season than what is average.
The report by Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell reports 11 named storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).
The average hurricane season, according to NOAA, is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. That's based on data from the 1981-2010 Atlantic hurricane seasons.
El nino could be responsible for a slower hurricane season. Forecasters predict el nino will return by the summer to put a dent in hurricane activity.
The CSU report also put out some probabilities of at least one major hurricane making landfall:
1. Entire U.S. coastline: 42 percent (average for last century is 52 percent)
2. U.S. East Coast (including the Florida peninsula): 24 percent (last century average is 31 percent)
3. Gulf Coast (from Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas): 24 percent (last century average is 30 percent)
The U.S. has not been hit by a major hurricane for more than 11 years.
The last one was Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 3 storm.
Nevertheless, it's important to get a hurricane plan together and in place before June 1 (beginning of hurricane season). Thankfully NOAA has a helpful page to get your plan started here.