Tallahassee, Florida - Scientists at Florida State are predicting a slightly below average hurricane season.
On Friday, the first day of hurricane season, they released a forecast calling for 13 named storms with seven of those becoming hurricanes. That compares to an annual average of 14 named storms with eight hurricanes between 1995 and 2010.
The FSU hurricane model was developed over 20 years at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies.
The Center started issuing hurricane forecasts four years ago and they have been among the most accurate.
"The model has verified very well the past four years, missing by about one to two storms on average," said Timothy LaRow of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies.
LaRow says the El Nino climate pattern is expected to develop this year and that tends to suppress hurricane activity with warmer water temperatures in the Pacific and cooler temperatures in the Atlantic.
"The combination of those two would mean less hurricane activity in the Atlantic for the upcoming season if those forecasts hold true for the water temperatures."
Florida's State's hurricane forecast predicted 17 named storms last year. The season actually produced 19 named storms.