Meteorologists at Colorado State University have released a long-term tropical forecast for the upcoming hurricane season and, if they are right, it may be a big one. They predict sixteen named storms, nine of which will be hurricanes.
How do they come up with that? Atlantic hurricanes aren't just dependent on local weather, but also what is happening in the Pacific. In this, warmer than usual waters in the Atlantic coupled with cooler waters in the eastern Pacific can mean a greater chance for more strong storms.
In other words, Atlantic hurricane frequency is tied into what is called ENSO (El Nino Souther Oscillation). El Nino events, with warm waters in the eastern Pacific, can mean fewer Atlantic storms. In the case of forecasts for this coming year, cooler waters (La Nina) are forecasted, meaning a greater number of tropical storms are expected.