Colo. forecasters call for 4 hurricanes in Sept.

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Colorado hurricane researchers are forecasting five tropical storms in the Atlantic this month, including four hurricanes, two of them major.

Former Colorado State University climatologist William Gray said Tuesday that would be nearly twice as busy as an average September. Gray has been issuing hurricane forecasts at Colorado State University for 25 years.

Tropical Storm Ike, which formed Monday, and Tropical Storm Josephine, which formed Tuesday, count toward the five storms in the September forecast, said Phil Klotzbach, a member of the research team and author of the September report.

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Klotzbach said Hanna, which reached hurricane strength on Monday before weakening back to a tropical storm on Tuesday, counts toward the four hurricanes forecast for September. However, it isn’t included in September’s five expected tropical storms because it initially held that status in August.

Three other Atlantic hurricanes have been recorded so far this season: Bertha and Dolly in July and Gustav in August.

The team’s latest predictions cover only September and are not a revision of its season-long forecast. The team’s most recent seasonal prediction, issued Aug. 5, called for a total of nine Atlantic hurricanes during the season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.