Next Hurricane Season Should Be a Little Quieter

Hurricane guru William Gray of Colorado State University is predicting a relatively quiet tropical weather season in the Atlantic and Caribbean next year mainly because of a weak to moderate El Nino. Gray expects nine named storms. Five storms would become hurricanes and two of those would be major hurricanes.

That would make the 2001 season much less severe than the last five very busy seasons, but still a bit busier than the period from 1970 to 1994. While tropical weather activity is expected to be diminished, Gray said the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire U.S. coast next year is 63%. Gray's probability for a 2001 major hurricane landfall from Florida to Brownsville, TX, is 36%, which is six percentage points higher than the average this century. The probability for landfall in the Caribbean is average, and the probability for landfall along the East Coast is 43%, which is significantly higher than the 31% mark over the course of the century.

Gray's final 2000 update in August called for 11 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The season ended on Nov. 30 with 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Gray's full report can be viewed here.

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