Active storm season predicted

The National Hurricane Center is predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season, forecasting 13 to 16 named storms. Four to six of those will be major.

BY HEATHER MOYER | MIAMI, Fla. | May 22, 2006


The National Hurricane Center is predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season, forecasting 13 to 16 named storms. Four to six of those will be major.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) released the predictions Monday morning, the first day of the center's National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

The complete prediction for the season is 13 to 16 named storms, eight to 10 being hurricanes, and four to six of those being major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

"Although we don't anticipate reaching or exceeding last year's extraordinary season, the forecast exceeds the average," said Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Remember that it only takes one hurricane in your neighborhood to make it a bad season."

Lautenbacher said the NHC's scientists pointed to a number of factors for an active season, including higher sea-surface temperatures and favorable wind patterns. "A continuation of the multi-decadal cycle is seen in all this," he said, noting the more active seasons the Atlantic has seen since 1995.

At Monday morning's press conference, Federal Emergency Management Agency head David Paulison also spoke on the upcoming season. Like the morning's other speakers, he focused on this year's theme of being prepared. "FEMA can't do this alone, it takes teamwork," said Paulison.

"We need to focus on personal preparedness. (People) have to be able to take care of ourselves in the first 72 hours (after a hurricane)."

The NHC forecast is similar to two other hurricane predictions released for the 2006 Atlantic season. Dr. William Gray and his team from Colorado State University predicted 17 named storms, nine of which will be hurricanes and five of which will be intense hurricanes.

Last week AccuWeather meteorologists predicted five hurricanes to strike the U.S. this season, three of which will be major.


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