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Busy hurricane season predicted

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    (CNN) -- U.S. hurricane forecasters Monday predicted a busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season based on a trend of above-normal activity during seven of the last
    Message 1 of 1 , May 17, 2004
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      (CNN) -- U.S. hurricane forecasters Monday predicted a busy 2004
      Atlantic hurricane season based on a trend of above-normal activity
      during seven of the last nine seasons.

      The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting
      for 12 to 15 tropical storms to form during the season, which runs
      from June 1 to November 30. Six to eight storms are predicted to
      become hurricanes with two to four storms developing into major
      hurricanes ranked as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale
      of hurricane strength.

      "NOAA's 2004 Atlantic hurricane season outlook indicates a 50 percent
      probability of an above-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a
      near-normal season and only a 10 percent chance of a below-normal
      season," said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director
      of the NOAA National Weather Service.

      A Category 3 storm has winds between 111-130 mph and can cause
      extensive damage. The worst storm, a Category 5, has winds greater
      than 155 mph and can cause catastrophic damage.

      Previous hurricane seasons similar to NOAA's forecast averaged two to
      three hurricanes that made landfall in the continental United States,
      and one to two hurricanes in the region around the Caribbean Sea.

      NOAA's forecast is based on the likelihood that above-normal activity
      that began in 1995 will continue. Since 1995, the Atlantic hurricane
      seasons have been above normal except for the El Nino years of 1997
      and 2002.

      NOAA scientists are predicting conditions through July that are
      neutral for either an El Nino or La Nina to form with a likelihood of
      these conditions will continue through the peak August-October months
      of the hurricane season.

      http://www.cnn.com/2004/WEATHER/05/17/hurricane.forecast/index.html
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