Hurricane season quiet so far

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FRANKLIN—Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are backing off of their earlier prediction of the number of named storms for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said that there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, with three to six of them becoming hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes.

The original outlook, issued in May, called for nine to 14 named storms, including four to seven hurricanes and one to three major hurricanes.

The return of El Niño, warmer than normal waters along the equatorial central and eastern Pacific Ocean, is being blamed for the tropical decreased activity this year.

There have been no named tropical storms or hurricanes this season in the Atlantic. However, officials warn that residents should still be prepared. Hurricane season, which started on June 1, has now entered its historical peak, August through October.

“While this hurricane season has gotten off to quiet start, it’s critical that the American people are prepared in case a hurricane strikes,” said Gary Locke, United States Commerce Secretary.

Next month marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd’s devastating floodwaters and the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Isabel’s destructive winds.