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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting an active hurricane season in the Atlantic this year.

The 2021 hurricane season is likely to produce more storms than normal due to the absence of El Niño, the warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific. El Niño provides winds that normally cut through forming hurricanes.

Researchers are foreseeing up to 17 storms this season, which lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30. Eight of those storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and four of those eight hurricanes are predicted to reach major hurricane status. These hurricanes appear as Category 3, 4, or 5 on the storm scale.

The 2020 hurricane season, which produced six major hurricanes making landfall, was 170% above the average hurricane season activity. The 2021 season is anticipated to be 140% above average.

While these forecasts are not 100% accurate, researchers still caution those living in hurricane zones in the United States.

“It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season,” said Michael Bell, associate professor in the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science.

For more information on CSU’s 2021 hurricane season predictions, visit the CSU Tropical Weather and Climate Research website.