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WeatherBug: Another Active Hurricane Season Expected

May 11, 2011

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season is going be a busy one, says a team of WeatherBug forecasters. This follows on the heel of a significantly above-average 2010 season that did not produce a hurricane landfall on the U.S.

WeatherBug meteorologists are expecting 13 to 14 named storms to form in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin this year. Seven to eight of these storms will becoming hurricanes and four major hurricanes with winds in excess of 111 mph are possible. The long-term average is about 11 storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.

"While water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are warmer than average in key tropical cyclone development areas, they are not as warm as last year," says Julie Gaddy, WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist. "La Nina conditions, which usually favor the formation of tropical storms, are forecast to weaken throughout the summer. Neutral conditions are expected during the prime months of August through October."

Additional contributors to the WeatherBug above-average forecast includes the past dozen years of active hurricane seasons and a comparison of past hurricane seasons with this year`s current and expected tropical conditions. "Years such as 2008 and 1996 point toward an increased potential for a land-falling hurricane to impact the U.S. this year," says Gaddy.

In comparison, the Colorado State University tropical forecast team on April 6 predicted 16 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane forecast will be issued later this month.

The WeatherBug team predicted 12 to 17 named storms, six to nine hurricanes and three to four major hurricanes for the 2010 season. This forecast was lower than the actual 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes the Atlantic Hurricane Basin generated.

The Atlantic Hurricane Basin consists of the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year. The historical height of the Atlantic hurricane season runs from mid-August to early October. However, tropical systems can form at any time during the season.

Now is the time for all Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to begin preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Be sure to create and update a hurricane emergency plan and make sure the hurricane emergency kit is stock with fresh provisions. Click here for more information about preparations you can do today to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and the latest on the 2011 hurricane season. Get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at WeatherBug WeatherBuzz.

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