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Hurricane Guru Raises Forecasts for 2000 Season

Hurricane Guru Raises Forecasts for 2000 Season

Judging from the huge dip in futures prices last Wednesday, the market apparently didn't get wind of a new, more bullish hurricane season forecast by renowned hurricane prognosticator Dr. William Gray and his team of soothsayers at Colorado State University.

Gray raised his projections on named storms this season to 65 from 55, upped the ante on hurricanes to eight from seven, predicted 35 hurricane days instead of his earlier April forecast of 25 and now believes there will be four rather than three intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin this season.

"Information obtained through May 2000 indicates that the Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2000 is likely to be slightly less active than the four recent very busy years of 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999," Gray's June update states. "However, total activity is expected to exceed the long-term average and should be notably be more active than the mean for the recent period of 1970 through 1994."

Gray gave five reasons for increasing his forecast: 1) a cooling of sea surface temperatures over the tropical and subtropical Atlantic; 2) expected persistence of cool sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific region off the coast of South America (La Nina); 3) wind anomalies in the central Pacific and Atlantic that are "very suggestive of an active season;" 4) the strong monsoon activity that began ahead of schedule in Asia and Mexico and the increased monsoonal flow from Central America to Africa; and 5) the east-west positive temperature gradient across northwestern Africa that suggests an enhancement of this summer's monsoon trough over the region and stronger easterly wave activity across the tropical Atlantic.

Rocco Canonica

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