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Another hurricane for FL?

Even as assessment teams were on the ground assessing damages from Hurricane Frances, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said they were watching Hurricane Ivan.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 6, 2004

Even as assessment teams were on the ground assessing damages from Hurricane Frances, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials said they were watching Hurricane Ivan.

"We are watching Ivan closely," said one FEMA official who was in the midst of responding to Hurricane Frances in Florida. "We could be in the same position next weekend," he said. "I know it's really early to tell. But in fact Florida is in the middle of that projected cone of impact."

For now, responders in Florida were wondering what Ivan would do next - and when.

Ivan - a Category 3 hurricane packing 125-mph winds - was churning through the Caribbean on Monday. A hurricane warning was been posted Sunday for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, the Grenadines and Grenada.

Although a powerful storm, Ivan is smaller than Frances, and so its eye would have to pass directly over the islands to cause extensive damage.

Ivan is the fourth major hurricane of the Atlantic season.

Why so many hurricanes - and uncommonly large and intense ones? Charley, Frances and Ivan may become more the normal pattern for the Atlantic in coming years, according to research.

Scientists use satellites, aircraft and computer models to track storm trends.

And both the National Hurricane Center and NASA have predicted more intense storms in years to come. A combination of natural cycles and warming ocean temperatures from global warming may be fueling the destructive storms, said researchers.

Combine that trend with growing populations in coastal regions, and hurricane destruction may well continue to increase.


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