Forecasters have predicted 11 tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin this hurricane season, with 7 forecast to become hurricanes. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University is the most well-known of these forecasters. He bases his predictions on several global and regional weather patterns. Here's a brief take on a few of the most important:

First - Is an El Nino or La Nina in progress? Though it seems contrary to all the gloom and doom associated with El Nino, it turns out that fewer Atlantic hurricanes tend to form during an El Nino, with more during a La Nina.

Second - What's rainfall been like the past year in northwestern Africa? Above average rainfall there in recent seasons tends to correlate with more Atlantic hurricanes.

Third - How warm's the water in various parts of the Atlantic? Warmer water in some areas correlates with more hurricanes.

Tomorrow night, I'll check the accuracy of Dr. Gray's forecasts over the last few years.

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