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2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

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Chickamauga, Georgia
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2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

This article was in the Orlando Sentinel this morning.

"With La Nina, '07 hurricane season could pack punch

Ken Kaye

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 28, 2007

La Nina, an atmospheric condition that promotes the formation of hurricanes, might be back in time for this year's six-month Atlantic storm season, government forecasters are predicting.

The weather pattern, the result of a cooling of the eastern Pacific Ocean, acts to calm the atmosphere, allowing hurricanes to form uninhibited in the Atlantic.

Though its return isn't altogether certain, satellite images and readings from ocean buoys indicate water temperatures in that Pacific region have rapidly decreased, officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

"Although other scientific factors affect the frequency of hurricanes, there tends to be a greater-than-normal number of Atlantic hurricanes . . . during La Nina events," NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher said in a news release.

Meanwhile, the condition's counterpart, El Nino, a warming of the eastern Pacific, is fading, NOAA officials said. El Nino tends to tear storms apart by creating high-level wind shear. It was credited in part with making the 2006 hurricane season uneventful, though meteorologists also blame it for contributing to the severe storms and tornadoes that have pummeled Central Florida this winter.

That's because El Nino pulls the subtropical jet stream -- high-altitude air currents that sweep across the nation -- farther south, which leads to stronger and more frequent winter storms in the southern U.S., according to meteorologists.

La Nina commonly comes on the heels of El Nino and can stick around for years, said Vernon Kousky, a research meteorologist at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.

That happened from 1998 to 2001, helping to make each of those years stormier than normal, officials said. If there is a bright note, La Nina conditions that develop from March to June -- as this one appears to be doing -- usually don't reach peak intensity until December, Kousky said. That means the condition might not be fully in place during the June-November hurricane season.

Threat of wildfires

La Nina also boosts chances for wildfires in Florida because its cooling of the Pacific causes winds at high altitude to carry significantly less moisture across the Southern United States to Florida. During the La Nina that began in '98, drought conditions dried up lakes and turned forests into tinderboxes.

Noted storm prognosticator William Gray and his research assistant Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University have predicted 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, in 2007.

That would represent a slightly busier than normal season, which typically sees 11 named storms and six hurricanes.

Early predictions

However, Gray's forecast was drafted in December before the La Nina conditions were detected.

Gray predicted 17 named storms for 2006, including nine hurricanes, with five of those considered intense.

Instead, the season spawned nine named storms and five hurricanes. Only two of those reached Category 3 status.

Gray's forecast was overinflated last year because, he said, he didn't foresee El Nino's arrival.

NOAA will release its seasonal outlook in May."

essen, germany
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1. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Hm...

correct me, but didn´t they warn us for another severe hurricane season 2006 last year???

how many hurricanes did we have?

I, personally, guess that you can´t be sure what to expect...

nature will do what it wants

:-)

Egg Harbor...
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2. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

If a hurricanes is there while I'm there I'm gonna ride it out I'm on vacation nothing is gonna stop me except a tornado and we can't run from that

Boston...
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3. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Hey Kat are you trying to scare everyone off or just auditioning for the Weather Channel??

Brandon, Florida
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4. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Just yesterday I was telling my cousins in Canada that the hurricane gurus haven't made their predictions for this year probably because they are still licking their wounds from the "way off target" predictions they gave for 2006.

But I have to admit that the weather patterns have definitely changed in the last three years. We've probably had one of the coldest February months in central florida. Yet, over in the Tampa part we probably got just one morning of briefly freezing temperatures, and this was a week ago. This week temperatures are already in the 80s F.

Cottage Hills...
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5. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Well, I would suggest, in all honesty, that for those of you that have never experienced being in a devastating hurricane, that this season prediction is not one we living here really wanted to hear.

I have been through four (4) storms, counting Katrina, and believe me you cannot ever imagine what this news means.

To those who viewed the pictures of the New Orleans area and feel that they know what it is like, I would seriously submit that you do not have even the faintest clue of what it was and is like.

The New Orleans area population is, to this day, less than half of the value it was before the storm. Large portions of the area are still in ruin. You cannot imagine, unless you actually came here and stood in the middle of an intersection in one of the fashionable neighborhoods in Lakeview and listened to the silence..no dogs barking....no people talking....no automobiles passing...just silence.

There were almost five thousand homes in lakeview before the storm. Today, almost a year and a half after, the area is still 95% vacant. Some of the inhabitants may never return, others are awaiting the political forces that might allow them to rebuild. It is a mess!!!!

Yes, we are reading the prognosticators at the National Hurricane Center make their predictions. We only hope they are wrong like last year, but only time will tell.

Tallahassee, Florida
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6. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Hurricanes happen... and florida is the best prepared for them. I wouldn't ride out anything higher than a category 2... its simply not worth it.

Tourists have no idea... it not like the next day everything is up and running fine... in a bad storm sometimes you dont have power for days or weeks... people can't drive on roads and if they could there is no gas... curfews...

This year could be bad, or it might not be, either way... florida will be ready.

In 2004, we had electricity out for a month, sometimes more, all over florida. there really wasn't an area that didn't get hit. (except for tallahassee)

I hope this year isn't bad.

Kissimmee Florida
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7. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

To the whole gang:

Let us put this all into perspective.

I have lived in Kissimmee since 1976. In that time we have had one, repeat one bad hurricane year. That year was 2004. Three major storms passed over my house. I went outdoors in the eye of two of them. In the years prior to that we had one hurricane pass over Central Florida. It did minor damage. In the winter of 1999 we had more people die (42) in a single tornado that hit a trailer park in Kissimmee than had died in the previous two decades of hurricanes.

Louisiana was a disaster waiting to happen. Much of the damage caused by Katrina was made worse by a century of mismanagement and misguided thinking. Even at that, human error caused horrific losses of life that were entirely unnecessary.

Neither Texas (Rita) nor Louisiana (Katrina) learned the lessons Florida had learned.

Rule # 1 When a hurricane is coming board up your windows and get out of town.

Rule # 2 When a hurricane is coming, fill up your gas tank, pack up the kids and get out of town.

Rule # 3 Open all the highways for counter flow so you can get as many people as possible out of town.

New Orleans is below sea level. How anyone thought the concept of "vertical evacuation" made any sense is beyond me.

Why did anyone think an open span building like the Super Dome was a safe place to be in a storm? The last place you want to be is in a building with an open span roof! The thing turns into a giant airplane wing and lifts up!

Whose idea was it to pump the water out from underneath the city and put it in a lake higher than the street level? Why don't they pump it out to the Gulf?

Now that I am done trashing New Orleans. Lake Okeechobee has many of the same isses that Lake Ponchartrain does. A storm the size and force of Katrina hitting Lake Okeechobee will cause the levees to burst and flood the surrounding area. Fortunately, most of that is farm land, but development is encroaching and if the South Florida Water Management District staff ever lets down their guard, we could have a serious problem.

The real difference is that Florida is not depending on the Federal government for its hurricane response. They need to learn from us.

CTR

Boston...
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8. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

The major risk during a hurricane is storm surge. That is precisely why you can't find a hotel room in Orlando prior to an approaching storm. I know Fla. is only a few feet above sea level but if you are smart enough to stay inside a sound stucture you'll be fine unless a cat 5 blows over. Please enough of the doomsayers!!

liverpool
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9. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

Well let us hope the predictions are incorrect

It is very hard to predict weather patterns under normal conditions for much more than a week in advance and it is very much a caseof guestimating how often have the BC got it wrong with 24-48 hour predictions

let's not panic and it aint putting us off we have been through 2 hurricanes whilst over there and we could only gasp as we saw what the locals had to go through and the amount of time before the last person came back on line for electricity and the devastation to their homes, and belongings left at the end of the driveways waiting to be carted away we could only admire their "get on with it" attitude

County Armagh...
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10. Re: 2007 Hurricane Season Could Be Hectic Thanks To La Nina

WOW

After reading these posts I really must reconsider going there in August.