Above-Normal Season Predicted

By  | 

The East and Gulf coasts can expect another hurricane season that's worse than average. That's the word from the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., told reporters Monday that the Atlantic will have 12 to 15 tropical storms, seven to nine of them becoming hurricanes, and three to five of those hurricanes being major, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. Lautenbacher says it's too early to predict where they might hit.

Forecasters at Colorado State University also predict a significantly above average Atlantic hurricane season. In April, William Gray and his team said they expect 13 named storms including seven hurricanes, three of them major.

The news came during a conference launching hurricane awareness week. The hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.

Lautenbacher says the eastern and central Pacific are expected to have a lighter-than-normal season. The eastern Pacific can expect eleven to 15 tropical storms, six to eight of them becoming hurricanes, and two to four of them major. He says two or three tropical cyclones are projected for the central Pacific.

Since 1995, all but two Atlantic hurricane seasons have been above normal.