Busy Atlantic storm season predicted

U.S. storm forecasters say they expect 11 to 14 tropical storms with most developing into hurricanes over the remainder of the 2005 Atlantic storm season.

Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tuesday released their revised 2005 forecast, predicting another above-average hurricane season.

They said they expect 11 to 14 named storms to form by the end of November, with seven to nine reaching hurricane strength. Of those, five are predicted to become major hurricanes.

"The tropics are only going to get busier as we enter the peak of the season. This may well be one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, and will be the ninth above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in the last 11 years," NOAA Director Brig. Gen. David Johnson said in a release.

The seven tropical storms during June and July represent a record, and with atmospheric and ocean conditions the way they are, forecasters increased the predicted number of storms.

An average hurricane season, which runs from June 1-Nov. 30, sees 10 named storms with six becoming hurricanes and two of those growing into major hurricanes.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International


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