Government forecasts more hurricanes this year
By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season will be worse than previously expected, with as many as 21 tropical storms and 11 hurricanes, the U.S. government predicted on Tuesday.
"Although we have already seen a record-setting seven tropical storms during June and July, much of the season's activity is still to come," said Gerry Bell, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist told reporters.
In May, NOAA predicted the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season would be above normal, with 12 to 15 tropical storms and seven to nine hurricanes.
The new forecast would mean a record number of named tropical storms, based on atmospheric conditions and ocean temperatures. The previous record was 19 tropical storms in 1995, according to NOAA.
"It's certainly reasonable to expect above-normal hurricane seasons for the next decade or perhaps even longer," Bell said.
Tropical disturbances and storms often form off the west coast of Africa, then move west toward the Caribbean and the as they strengthen.
NOAA officials said they could not predict how many of the storms would hit the coast.
A study published Sunday in the science journal Nature said hurricanes have become more destructive during the last 30 years, and could see their intensity increase as a result of global warming.