Improved Forecasting Will Help Track Hurricane Season
NOAA's new technology will help it provide timely warnings.
"There are no mitigating factors that could suppress hurricane activity," said Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead hurricane forecaster, in a conference call with reporters. "It will be active or very active."
Bell noted that water temperatures in the Atlantic are eight-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit above normal for this time of year. "That might not sound like much, but it's quite a bit," he said. (Read "Weather Gone Wild" in National Geographic magazine.)
Hurricanes draw their fierce power from warm water, and can intensify when there are no upper-level winds—known as wind shear—to disrupt their momentum.
NOAA forecasters predict that 13 to 20 named tropical storms with winds of at least 35 miles per hour (56