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Forecasters Predict More Major Hurricanes for 2007

Sept. 4, 2007 — As Hurricane Felix came ashore in Nicaragua as a Category 5 storm with winds of 160 mph and gusts to 190 mph, a pair of prominent hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University issued their updated hurricane prediction.
"We expect the remainder of the season to be active," Phil Klotzbach said. He and William Gray expect five named storms during September and another five in October/November.
They predict four of the five storms in September to become hurricanes, with two of them reaching major hurricane status, with winds greater than 111 mph. For October/November, they expect two of the five named storms to grow into hurricanes. They think one of those two will become a major hurricane.
A weak La Nina is developing in the Pacific, and that condition combined with low-pressure readings in the Atlantic during August usually indicate an active season, Klotzbach said.
In August, they predicted 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes for the entire season. The long-term average stands at 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 major hurricanes per year. They'll update October/November again on Oct. 2.
Hurricane season is approaching its mid-September peak. The territory's worst storms in recent memory occurred during that time frame. Hurricane Marilyn hit Sept. 15 and 16, 1995, and Hurricane Hugo hit on Sept. 17 and 18, 1989.
Computer models show that a wave still inside Africa could develop by Sept. 14, said Ernesto Morales, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan.
"It's looking pretty nasty," he said Tuesday.
During this part of hurricane season, many storms have their start in tropical waves that come off the African coast. Before that system arrives, the territory should see a couple of tropical waves passing through the area, with a strong one bringing rain on Saturday, Morales said.
Hurricane season officially runs June 1 through Nov. 30.
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