Want to know if a hurricane is coming? CSU might not be able to tell you anymore

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(Photo: Courtesy of NOAA)
<p>Satellite image of Hurricane Katrina taken on Aug. 28, 2005, a day before the storm made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast.</p>

Photo: Hurricane Katrina taken by NOAAEvery spring up and down the East Coast, weather watchers wait for a prediction out of Colorado State University about how many hurricanes they can expect that year.

"As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one hurricane forecast that I go to and it’s from Colorado State University," Meteorologist Tim Kelley at NECN, a cable news channel available in New England, said in 2010. "It’s the most credible, comprehensive forecast I’ve seen."

But after 30 years, the Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU, which puts out the prediction, may come to an end if it doesn’t raise the money it needs by February 2014.

William Gray, the project’s founder, was a pioneer in forecasting how many storms would form in the Atlantic and his methods are the basis for predictions out of NOAA, the federal office that reports on tropical storms.

But Gray believes human actions have had a minimal impact on climate change -- an extremely controversial stance that could be getting in the way of his efforts to fund the CSU project.

Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner spoke with Phil Klotzbach, who is Gray’s protege at CSU, and as of a few years ago, the lead author on its annual hurricane forecasts.