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JOE BASTARDI, ACCUWEATHER.COM: Well, first of all, it's not just forecasters say now. Accuweather.com had a forecast out before the season began, warning people about this season being a particularly nasty one.
Back in the '40's and '50s as far as our climatological pattern, there were huge hurricanes that hit the United States. And all my research indicates that September is going to be a very active month. The rest of the hurricane season's very active.
The new forecast, based on atmospheric conditions and warmer-than-usual ocean temperatures, would mean a tie for the record number of tropical storms. The most active season was 21 storms in 1933, according to NOAA.
Expect more hurricanes large and small in the next 10 to 20 years, the director of the federal National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.
Max Mayfield told a congressional panel that he believes the Atlantic Ocean is in a cycle of increased hurricane activity that parallels an increase that started in the 1940s and ended in the 1960s.
The ensuing lull lasted until 1995, then "it's like somebody threw a switch," Mayfield said. The number and power of hurricanes increased dramatically.