NOAA predicts busy hurricane season



Scientists at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center estimate that there is a 75% chance that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than average, with 13–17 named storms, 7–10 hurricanes, and 3–5 hurricanes reaching Category 3 or higher. An average hurricane season has 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. According to Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, the 2007 season could be in the higher range of predicted activity if a La Niña forms, or even higher if the La Niña is particularly strong. Last year, NOAA also predicted an above-normal Atlantic season; the actual season, however, was quiet, to which NOAA scientists credit an unexpected El Niño that developed rapidly and created an environment hostile to storm formation and strengthening.