Five to seven hurricanes could strike the Caribbean and southeast U.S. coasts this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting. This hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1, is considered average.
Experts said eight to 11 tropical storms are likely, with five to seven of the storms reaching hurricane strength with sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour. Two or three of those storms could become “major hurricanes” with sustained winds of at least 110 miles per hour.
The Atlantic saw 15 tropical storms last year, of which eight reached hurricane strength and three–Alberto, Isaac and Keith–were categorized as major hurricanes.
Forecasters at Colorado State University predicted in April that 2001 would be a quieter storm season with about 10 tropical storms, of which six would become hurricanes. Two of those were forecast to turn into major hurricanes.
Source: Reuters news service.
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