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Busy storm season still in area forecasts
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MIAMI (AP) — La Nina is developing in the Pacific Ocean, and that cooling of waters generally brings a more active Atlantic hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday, two days before Subtropical Storm Gabrielle formed and threatened to drench the North Carolina Coast Saturday.
La Nina and its Pacific warming counterpart El Nino are hard to predict long-term and do not follow patterns.
“While we can’t officially call it a La Nina yet, we expect that this pattern will continue to develop during the next three months, meeting the NOAA definition for a La Nina event later this year,” said Mike Halpert, acting deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center.
“These conditions also reinforce NOAA’s August forecast for an above normal Atlantic hurricane season,” said Gerry Bell, the agency lead hurricane forecaster.
So far this Atlantic season, there have been five named storms and two hurricanes.
Colorado State University forecaster William Gray this week downgraded his forecast slightly, but still predicted above-average activity for the rest of the season, with five more hurricanes.
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