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Forecast for 2005: Another Busy Hurricane Season

Deadly Hurricanes of 2004 Will Save Lives

On the heels of one of the most deadly hurricane seasons in memory, a top forecaster is calling for another busy year in the Atlantic basin for 2005.

"We foresee a slightly above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin in 2005," Colorado State University forecaster William Gray said Friday. "Also, an above-average probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is anticipated. We do not, however, expect anything close to the U.S. landfalling hurricane activity of 2004."

Gray and his colleagues predict 11 named tropical storms for the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico, in 2005. Of those, they expect six to become hurricanes, and three of those to become major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or stronger.

The odds of at least one major storm hitting the U.S. coast is 69 percent, he said.

This year's hurricane season, when ended Nov. 30, saw a whopping 15 named storms, nine hurricanes, and six major hurricanes.

Gray has for 22 years been making long-range hurricane predictions, based on such factors as multi-year trends, current sea surface temperatures in the tropics, and factors seemingly far away like rainfall in Africa and the El Nino cycle in the Pacific. The forecast will be revised periodically up to and even into next season.

The Atlantic Basin season next year begins, as always, on June 1.

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.