Hurricane forecasters still calling for below-average season

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Colorado State researchers on Tuesday predicted one hurricane, two named storms but no intense hurricanes in October.

Forecasters William Gray and Philip Klotzbach’s updated report again calls for a below-average hurricane season in the Atlantic, with a total of six hurricanes and 11 named storms.

The long-term average for a full hurricane season in the Atlantic basin is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes, they said.

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The report cites El Nino conditions for the reduced number of storms.

Tuesday’s forecast, covering both October and November, the last two months of the season, did not mention any storms in November.

“We have experienced average hurricane activity through September,” said Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast.

“August was inactive, but September had above-average activity. We expect October to have below-average activity largely due to developing El Nino conditions in the central and eastern Pacific. November activity in El Nino years is very rare.”

No hurricanes have hit the U.S. this season but Gray cautioned against complacency.

“Despite the lower predictions, residents living along the U.S. coastline should always be prepared for major storms,” he said.

Gray and Klotzbach said 13 major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic basin in the past two years, and seven struck the U.S. coast. By contrast, between 1995 and 2003, only three major hurricanes hit land.

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