Remainder of hurricane season downgraded

Oct. 4, 2006 at 12:23 PM
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FORT COLLINS, Colo., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. forecasters have again downgraded their predictions, saying the rest of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season will present below average activity.

Developing El Nino conditions in the central and eastern Pacific led the hurricane forecast team at Colorado State University to issue the latest downward-revised hurricane forecast.

Philip Klotzbach and William Gray said they expect only two more named storms, one more hurricane and no more intense or major hurricanes for the remainder of the hurricane season.

As of Oct. 1, the current season had produced nine named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. That compares with an early April prediction of 17 named storms and nine hurricanes.

"We have experienced average hurricane activity through September," said Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast and a member of Colorado State's hurricane forecast team. "We expect October to have below-average activity largely due to developing El Nino conditions in the central and eastern Pacific. November activity in El Nino years is very rare."

Klotzbach and Gray expect to issue their first 2007 hurricane forecast in early December. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November.

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