Experts Predict Busy Hurricane Season Along Gulf, East Coasts
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
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WASHINGTON � The U.S. government will issue its official forecast for the forthcoming hurricane season Tuesday, but already two leading storm experts have predicted that it will be busy.
After the battering by storms Katrina and Rita in 2005 there were widespread fears last summer of another powerful storm, but the unexpected development of the El Nino climate phenomenon helped dampen conditions.
The El Nino has ended, however, leaving the potential for more tropical storms threatening the Gulf and East coasts.
El Nino is a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that occurs every few years. The warm water affects wind patterns that guide weather movement, and its effects can be seen worldwide. In El Nino years, there tend to be fewer summer hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.
Earlier this month Philip Klotzbach, a research associate at Colorado State University, and Joe Bastardi, the chief hurricane forecaster for AccuWeather Inc., said they anticipate a more active storm cycle this year.