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Forecasters Predict Active Hurricane Season

By Sue Richards last modified May 31, 2008 06:17 PM

Published: 2008-05-31 18:17:45
Topics: Weather

The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins tomorrow (1 June), could be slightly busier than average, with a good chance of six to nine hurricanes forming, US federal forecasters said on Thursday.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials also said 12 to 16 named storms and two to five major hurricanes could form.

They said there is only a 60 to 70 percent chance for their predictions to come true, the first time officials gave a probability. They took that step following years of criticism of their long range forecasts, which have usually been fairly accurate but in some cases have been way off.

Gerry Bell, the agency's lead forecaster for Atlantic hurricanes, said probabilities were included because people had come to rely too much on the forecasts. "Basically it was interpreted as a 100 percent chance," he said.

An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes of which two reach major status with winds of more than 110 mph. This year should be about average or slightly more active, forecasters said.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

See Noonsite Weather Pages for hurricane information links.

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