May 21, 2009 | 2
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today forecast a hurricane season (June to November) in the Atlantic tamer than the one in 2008, which featured 16 storms severe enough to be named. But NOAA's hedging its bets, noting in a statement that "global weather patterns are imposing a greater uncertainty in the 2009 hurricane season outlook than in recent years."
According to the agency, there's a 70 percent chance of nine to 14 named Atlantic storms this year, as many as seven of those with the potential to become hurricanes, which feature winds in excess of 74 miles (121 kilometers) per hour. As many as three could reach "major hurricane" status, meaning their winds blow at more than 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour. (An average Atlantic season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes with two becoming major hurricanes.) Hurricanes originate as "tropical systems" once they reach sustained winds of at least 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. At the time a weather pattern is dubbed a "tropical system," it's also given a name. The name of this year's first storm will be Ana.
Sep 13, 2008 | 6
After making landfall at 3:10 a.m. this morning near Galveston as a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Ike's eye was just northeast of Conroe, Texas as of 8 a.m. CDT, according to the National Hurricane Center. With winds of 90 miles per hour (145 km/hr), it is now a Category 1 storm.
Overnight, Ike flooded Galveston's historic district and left all of Galveston County without power, the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management reported on its Web site. Four million people in Houston also lost power.
Officials have blamed Ike for three deaths. All 22 people aboard a Cypriot freighter that was caught in the storm off the coast of Texas were safe, however, according to the Coast Guard, which had earlier abandoned efforts to rescue the crew because of Ike.
Sep 3, 2008
New Orleans may have dodged the full force of Hurricane Gustav, but scientists say the worst may be yet to come. Forecasters this week warned that September will bring more furious tempests that promise to continue last month's turmoil.
Veteran hurricane forecaster William Gray and his colleague Philip Klotzbach, both atmospheric scientists at Colorado State University, predict that there will be five named tropical storms – those with winds at least 39 miles per hour -- and two Category 3 or above hurricanes (winds greater than 110 miles per hour). Katrina, you’ll recall, was a category 3 by the time it smacked ashore in Louisiana.
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