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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Government forecasters expect the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season to be near normal or above normal.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials in Tampa say that means there is a 60 to 70 percent chance of 12 to 16 named storms, six to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes forming.
But they stress coastal residents should always be prepared. They don't predict whether, where or when any of these storms may hit land.
An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes for which two reach major status.
The Atlantic Ocean is expected to brew as many tropical storms as usual this year, but the East Coast stands a greater chance of getting slammed, according to the latest hurricane forecast by AccuWeather.com.
"Although we are forecasting 12 named storms in 2008, much more important are the facts that a relatively high percentage of tropical storms are expected to make landfall and that the major threat area is farther north than normal," said Joe Bastardi, chief long-range forecaster with the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center. "We believe at least 40 percent of named storms will cause tropical storm or hurricane conditions on the U.S. coastline, which is about 1.6 times the norm."
The hurricane seasons of 1985, 1989, 1996 and 1999 should be comparable to the one expected in 2008, according to Bastardi. Major storms hit from the Carolinas northward in all of those years.
Dr. Gray releases April hurricane forecast
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A noted hurricane researcher predicted Wednesday that rising water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean will bring a "well above average" storm season this year, including four major storms.
The updated forecast by William Gray's team at Colorado State University calls for 15 named storms in the Atlantic in 2008 and says there's a better than average chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the United States.
Originally posted by Karlhungis
Didn't they predict a lot of hurricane activity last year as well, only to have it turn out to be a relatively mild hurricane season? I don't trust weathermen. Not to say that preparing for the worst isn't a a good idea, but I just think that these guys are as accurate as anyone else who cares to venture a guess about the upcoming hurricane season.