Fewer Hurricanes Predicted This Year

It appears the weatherman will be giving most of the U.S. a break this summer, with moderate temperatures and less of a hurricane threat than the last five years.

The hurricane forecast published Friday by a Colorado State University team led by noted forecaster Willam M. Gray of the school's Department of Atmospheric Science , predicted "the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season will be less active than the recent, very busy 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons," but more active than the period from 1970 to 1994. Gray's team predicted about six hurricanes --- two of which will be Category 3-4-5 or "intense," 10 named storms, 50 named storm days, and 25 hurricane days.

A weak to moderate El Nino event is expected to act as an inhibiting influence on 2001 activity, but the U.S. landfall probability could be 5 to 10% above the long term average. Gray's forecast is available on the web at http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2001/april2001/

Gray's hurricane forecast followed on predictions by Salomon Smith Barney's weather forecaster Jon Davis that this summer will not be a particularly hot one across most of the nation, although there is a chancethere will be some abnormal heat waves in specific regions, especially in the West, New York and New England (see Daily GPI, April 6).

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