MONDAY, MAY 15 - NOAA'S HURRICANE FORECAST


About a month ago, I told you about Dr. William Gray, a hurricane researcher who issues long-range forecasts for the hurricane season, which begins June 1. This year, Dr. Gray predicts that 7 hurricanes will form in the Atlantic. This would be a slightly above-average hurricane season.

Meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA - also issue such long-range hurricane outlooks. Last week, they chimed in with their forecast. Basically, they agree with Dr. Gray - "above-average" activity, with 7 or more hurricanes.

But behind the numbers were two concerns in NOAA's announcement: First, the potential for economic losses along the shore - it's increased dramatically in recent years because more people are moving and vacationing there. Second, the potential for loss-of-life. It's still greatest right at the coast due to the storm surge, bit inland flooding from heavy rains can cause big problems too, a lesson we learned personally last year from Floyd.

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