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2011 Hurricane Season Will Be Above Average, Top Meteorologists Say.
The nation's top meteorologists issued their 2011 hurricane-season forecast Thursday, predicting a serious and above-average season -- though not one as tumultuous as the violent 2010 season.
Hurricane season for the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico begins June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30. That's when about 90 percent of the storms make themselves present. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned that this year's season will be above average, with as many as 10 hurricanes blasting their 110 mile per hour winds across the area.
“We could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
2011 will be above average -- even severe, the agency said -- but probably not as dramatic as last year.
NOAA's forecast for 2011 predicts 12 to 18 named storms with winds 39 mph or greater. Of those, NOAA expects 6 to 10 hurricanes with winds of at least 75 miles per hour. And of those, the meteorologists expect 3 to 6 could be major storms, with winds of 110 mph or greater.
NOTE: The NOAA Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Atlantic Basin Hurricane Tracking Chart (National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida)
NOTE: Hurricans that start before or end after the 1 June - 30 November 2011, but are active during the specified period, will count towards the total number of hurricanes.
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