East Coast most likely hurricane target

May 16, 2006
Hurricane Lili
Hurricane Lili was a Category 1 hurricane, and was centered over Louisiana on Oct. 3, 2002. This image was taken by the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, aboard NASA's Terra satellite. At this time, Lili had sustained winds of 92 mph near the center. On October 4, Lili was absorbed by an extratropical low while moving northeastward near the Tennessee/Arkansas border.

Private forecasts say the East Coast is the most likely target of five to nine hurricanes expected to hit the United States this season, reports said.

The good news in the AccuWeather and Colorado State University forecasts is that this year likely will have fewer than 2005's record 28 named storms and 13 hurricanes.

Forecasters say the storms likely will skip the Gulf Coast but that does not put New Orleans in the clear.

"Because the city's defenses have been so compromised by Hurricane Katrina, even a glancing blow from a hurricane elsewhere could spell trouble for the city," AccuWeather's Ken Reeves told The Washington Times.

With warmer ocean temperatures, the bad news is that hurricanes are more likely to hit Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, southern New England and the North Carolina coast.

"Particularly in New York City, if one of these category 3 storms came in with a large storm surge, that'd cause tremendous flooding," Colorado hurricane expert Bill Gray told ABC News.

On Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center is to issue its forecast for the June-November hurricane season.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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