Wednesday, May 23, 2007

RE: Experts Predict 'Active' Hurricane Season

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: 2012 Studios
Date: May 22, 2007 3:26 PM


Experts predict 'active' hurricane season

POSTED: 1:35 p.m. EDT
May 22, 2007
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government forecasters called for a busier than normal hurricane season Tuesday.

National Weather Service forecasters said they expect 13 to 17 tropical storms, with seven to 10 of them becoming hurricanes.

The forecast follows that of two other leading storm experts in anticipating a busy season.

The likelihood of above normal hurricane activity is 75 percent, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. (Watch how storms spur the market for survival kits and hurricane armor)

"With expectations for an active season, it is critically important that people who live in East and Gulf coastal areas as well as the Caribbean be prepared," said Bill Proenza, director of the national hurricane center in Miami, Florida.

After the battering by storms Katrina and Rita in 2005 there were widespread fears last summer of another powerful storm striking, but the unexpected development of the El Nino climate phenomenon helped dampen conditions.

The El Nino has ended, however, leaving the potential for more tropical storms threatening the Gulf and East coasts.

El Nino is a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that occurs every few years. The warm water affects wind patterns that guide weather movement and its effects can be seen worldwide. In El Nino years, there tend to be fewer summer hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this month Philip Klotzbach, a research associate at Colorado State University, and Joe Bastardi, the chief hurricane forecaster for AccuWeather Inc., said they anticipate a more active storm cycle this year.

And, almost as if to underscore their comments, a subtropical storm formed off the southeast coast and became Andrea, the first named storm of the year, well before the June 1 official beginning of hurricane season.

Hurricane season ends November 30, but the strange season of 2005 ran into late December, using up all the planned alphabetical names and forcing storm watchers to switch to the Greek alphabet to continue naming storms.

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