Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Active Hurricane Season?

You've probably seen or read news reports the past few days proclaiming that we have another active hurricane season this year. That is the prediction of well known forecasters at Colorado State University led by Phillip Klotzbach and William Gray. Their updated forecast released Tuesday calls for 17 named storms in the Atlantic basin in the 2007 season. Nine of those are expected to become hurricanes with 5 major (category 3 or higher) hurricanes expected.

The number of storms during a season does not really tell us how coastal locations can be impacted. Seventeen storms could form and all of them could stay out to sea. Then again, fewer storms could form and they could all impact land. Other information from the Colorado State forecast does predict the probability of landfall. The updated forecast calls for a 74% chance that a major hurricane will strike somewhere along the United States coastline. The forecasters say there is a 50% chance a major hurricane would strike the east coast of the United States.

It is important to remember that this is just a forecast. Many forecasts released before the 2006 season called for an active season. In the end, last year was quieter than expected. Of course, it was only two years ago when the season set a record for the number of storms that formed. That was the hurricane season that brought that brought several devastating storms including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Can we say for certain whether a devastating storm will impact the U.S. this year? The answer is no, but we need to be prepared. The Atlantic hurricane season begins in less than two months on June 1. Are you ready?

You can read the entire 2007 hurricane forecast from Colorado State on their website --

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