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Posted Sat Jun 12 2010: from National Geographic:
"Ominous" Pre-Katrina Conditions Seen in Atlantic
t's already been forecast to be "extremely active," but the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season may be shaping up to be something even worse: a replay of 2005, the most active and destructive Atlantic basin hurricane season in history. The warm ocean temperatures and weak winds recorded this past May were similar to those of May 2005--the year that spawned Hurricane Katrina. Such patterns are "definitely ominous and foreboding," said Chris Hebert, lead hurricane forecaster for the private forecasting company ImpactWeather, based in Houston. For instance, the similarities to 2005 means there's an increased risk of hurricane impact across the northern Caribbean islands, the Florida Peninsula, and the northeast Gulf Coast, from southeastern Louisiana to Florida, he said. ... Right now the oscillation value is -1.49, compared with -1.25 in 2005, Hebert said. In 2009, a quiet hurricane year, the value was 1.68, because the Azores-Bermuda high remained strong all year, hampering hurricane formation. Last year unusually warm Pacific waters--part of an El Nino event--caused the jet stream, a high-altitude wind current, to shift southward into Atlantic regions where storms typically form.
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