Image Source: Wikimedia Commons. By: NASA.

It would seem some of our worst Gulf Coast Oil Spill fears may come true this year.

Colorado State University forecasters are predicting 18 hurricanes or tropical storms for the Atlantic basin this year, between June 1st and November 30th; five of the hurricanes are expected to be major—with wind speeds of 111 mph or greater—and may diminish cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast. The forecasters say the increased forecast is due to warmer than usual tropical sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and cooling conditions in the Pacific.

The university’s lead forecaster, Phil Klotzbach, warned of a 76% chance that a hurricane will, indeed, hit the US coastline this year. He also added:

“If the storm tracks to the west of the oil, there is the potential that the counter-clockwise circulation of the hurricane could drive some of the oil further towards the US Gulf Coast.”

I’d hate to see what would happen if hurricanes came through that area this year, especially if they’re anywhere near as bad as Katrina. Can you imagine the damage it would cause with all the oil?

Further updates will be posted as they happen.

By Heidi Marshall