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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 09:42, September 03, 2005
Scientists forecast more US Atlantic hurricanes in upcoming months
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The Hurricane Katrina, which has caused huge disaster in New Orleans, is not the last one in this blustering season, and more storms, including six hurricanes, will hit US Atlantic coast over the next two months, scientists forecast on Friday.

Five named storms, including four hurricanes, are expected to occur in September, with three named storms including two hurricanes in October, according to the forecast. The net tropical cyclone activity will go far beyond the average levels.

"We expect that by the time the 2005 hurricane season is over, we will witness seasonal tropical cyclone activity at near record levels," said said William Gray and Philip Klotzbach, atmospheric scientists at the Colorado State University.

"We are continuing the bad news by predicting above-average activity for September and October. This year should be one of the most active and is already the most destructive hurricane season on record,"

The two researchers, releasing their forecast of Atlantic hurricane activity for September and October 2005, said that record amount of storms have occurred from this June through August, but the active season is far from over.

"Information obtained through 31 August 2005 shows that we have already experienced 110 percent of the average full season net tropical cyclone (NTC) activity. In an average year, 33 percent of the seasonal average NTC of 100 occurs before the end of August," their report said.

The hurricane forecast team said there is a 43 percent chance an intense hurricane will hit the US coast in September and a 15 percent chance in October. The long-term average is 27 percent in September and 6 percent in October.

The Atlantic hurricane season already has seen 13 named storms, including Maria, which formed Friday. Four storms became hurricanes. The 50-year average per season from 1950 to 2000 is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes.

The record high frequency and intensity of the hurricanes might be attributed to long-term fluctuations in the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation, but not the global warming, the researchers argued.

If global warming were the cause of the increase in the US hurricane landfalls in 2004 and 2005 and the overall increase in Atlantic hurricane activity of the past eleven years, more storms in world's other regions could also be expected, they said.

But when tropical cyclones worldwide are summed, there has actually been a slight decrease since 1995, and the measured global warming during year 1970 to 1994 was accompanied by a downturn in Atlantic storms, noted the forecast.

"We attribute the heightened Atlantic major hurricane activity between 1995-2005 to be a consequence of the multidecadal fluctuations in the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation (THC), " said the researchers.

"Since 1995, the THC has been flowing more strongly, and there has been a concomitant increase in major hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic," they added.

Source: Xinhua

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