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Weather Service boosts hurricane forecast

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    Weather Service boosts hurricane forecast By Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer WASHINGTON — Note to the millions of people living near the Atlantic and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2005
      Weather Service boosts hurricane forecast
      By Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer

      WASHINGTON � Note to the millions of people living near the Atlantic and
      Gulf coasts: Be prepared to batten down the hatches, it'll be a rougher
      than normal season for tropical storms.

      With seven storms, including two hurricanes, already recorded � a record
      for this early in the year � National Weather Service Director David L.
      Johnson said Tuesday there could be 11 to 14 more tropical storms,
      including seven to nine more hurricanes, by the end of November. (Related
      video: NOAA revises hurricane forecast.)

      Hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell said a combination of warmer waters, low
      wind shear and low pressure, as well as the jet stream, favor storm
      formation.

      Hurricanes derive their energy from warm water. The sea surface is two to
      three degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, Bell noted.

      Wind shear, a change in wind direction with altitude, can suppress these
      storms and lack of shear allows them to form. The jet stream is in place
      to guide disturbances moving off the coast of Africa, he added.

      Weather Service officials urged preparedness on the part of people living
      in hurricane-prone areas.

      Bell said hurricanes have increased since 1995. He said there is a cycle
      between more and less active hurricane seasons which lasts for decades.
      The nation's coastlines had major population increases during the decades
      with low storm activity in the 1970s and 1980s, he noted.

      A new analysis by Kerry Emmanuel at the Massachusetts Institute of
      Technology suggests global warming is making tropical storms stronger.
      (Related story: Global warming could increase hurricanes.)

      However, that report did not suggest it is generating more storms and
      Bell said it isn't possible to determine such an effect because the
      cycles of more and fewer storms are so strong.


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