The U.S. East and Gulf Coasts have enjoyed a decent run of hurricane luck in recent years, and that may well continue in 2012.
In the April outlook released today by Colorado State University researchers William Gray and Philip Klotzbach are calling for below-average numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms.
They are looking at cooling temperatures in the Atlantic and potentially warming waters in the tropical Pacific.
They predict a total of 10 named storms, those with winds of 39 m.p.h., during the season that begins June 1 in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The average is 12.
As for hurricanes, storms with winds of at least 74 m.p.h., they are calling for just four; the average is about seven.
They also say that the chances for U.S. landfall are below the longer-term averages.
Gray and Klotzbach say that the tropical Atlantic has "anomalously cooled" in recent months and that an El Nino -- an anomalous warming in the tropical Pacific -- is likely.
During El Nino, the warming helps generate upper-air winds from the west that can snuff out incipient tropical storms.