Tuesday, 02 August, 2005

Very active tropical storm season predicted

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a press release today forecasting a 95% to 100% chance for an above-normal 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.  They're expecting 18 to 21 named tropical storms, with 9 to 11 of them becoming hurricanes.  The mean is ten storms with six becoming hurricanes.  That's a lot of storms.

There's plenty of discussion on the Web linking this increase in tropical storms to global warming, but no reliable data to back it up.  The number of storms varies widely from year to year, and doesn't appear to go in any kind of cycle.  With less than 100 years of accurate data, it's pretty difficult to say whether we're experiencing a real trend, or if the last few years are just anomalies and things will settle down next year.

If you're interested in tracking storms, check out the National Hurricane Center's site, and also the U.S. Navy's tropical cyclones page.