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CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:26 am

East Coast in for above-normal hurricane season
Updated Tue. Jul. 11 2006 11:29 PM ET News Staff

Warmer Atlantic waters have hurricane watchers on alert. Residents living along the East Coast will see an "above normal" hurricane season as a result, Environment Canada warns.

Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) meteorologists estimate that higher temperatures in a huge section of the Atlantic could increase the risk of extreme weather.

People living the area should "expect another above normal season," similar to the trend we've see over the last decade, CHC Meteorologist Manager Peter Bowyer told CTV Newsnet.

According to recent records, waters in a million square kilometres of ocean-stretching from off the coast of Maine up to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, are two to five degrees warmer than normal.

Still, Bowyer cautions, "these numbers are nowhere near what they were last year at this time." According to NASA records, at the opening of the 2006 hurricane season, Atlantic sea surface temperatures were two degrees cooler than they had been at opening of the 2005 season.

In 2005, the Atlantic hurricane season produced a record-smashing:

28 tropical storms
15 hurricanes
7 intense hurricanes
According to the CHC, a normal Atlantic hurricane season will produce:

10 tropical storms
6 hurricanes
2 or 3 intense hurricanes
Bowyer cites a number of factors that contribute determine whether a hurricane season will be normal.

"We look at things like water temperatures. That's a big factor. We look and see if whether or not there's an El Niño, or a La Nina happening in the equatorial eastern Pacific."

Bowyer says even the amount of rainfall in the western parts of Africa that can influence Atlantic storm activity.

While some observers suggest there are more hurricanes in the North Atlantic now than there were 100 years ago, it's hard to say if that is the case.

Bowyer says there's a "raging debate" in the scientific community over whether the Atlantic region has experienced more hurricanes over the last decade, or if scientists simply better at detecting, measuring and recording storms.

Bowyer does point out that over the last few years, there seem to be more landfalls (hurricanes that make it to the shore), especially severe category three, four, and five hurricanes, which cause headline-grabbing damage.

"What we have to keep in mind is that people are more vulnerable now than ever before. People are building into the coastal zone. They're putting themselves in harm's way. So these storms become more of a story as there seems to be a greater impact."

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:07 pm

I watched that same thing, weren't they saying it could go the other way as well and have fewer than normal?

...people are building into a coastal zone? People have been doing that for a long time and have survived thus far. I think we'll be fine.

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