Once again hurricane season is nearly upon us (starts June 1), and the tropical Atlantic waters are looking favorable for another active season. After last year's 19 named systems, we currently expect a less active overall season across the basin. However, the proverbial "lid to the popcorn popper", the Bermuda High that normally sits over the mid-latitude Atlantic during the summer and early fall, is expected to be in place this season, so storms are expected to be pointed farther south, towards the Caribbean, GOMEX, and southeast coastlines. Neutral or La Nina conditions are expected to persist in the Pacific basin through this season, leading to a more active Atlantic season than average. Pre-season storm predictions are consistent across the board, with expectations of an active season. 15-17 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes, with 5 possibly becoming major. Predictions from Colorado State University: - 72% chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline in 2011 (the long-term average probability is 52%) - 48% chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31%) - 47% chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville (the long-term average is 30%) - 61% chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean (the long-term average is 42%) Names to be used for the 2011 season: Arlene Bret Cindy Don Emily Franklin Gert Harvey Irene Jose Katia Lee Maria Nate Ophelia Philippe Rina Sean Tammy Vince Whitney May 2 SST anomalies showing warmer than average waters over the tropical Atlantic. Current wide view of the Atlantic Basin.