Local News

Weather Experts Predict Another Busy Hurricane Season

Posted May 27, 1999

— The Atlantic hurricane season is about to start, and federal officials say three weather phenomena will make it busier than usual.

The bracing outlook, which calls for three or more intense hurricanes instead of an average season's two, was issued Thursday by the National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This year, forecasters said, they expect more hurricanes in part because of La Nina, the opposite of El Niño. La Nina brings cooler-than-normal temperatures to the part of the Pacific Ocean off South America that sees warmer water temperatures during El Niño.

Also facilitating hurricane development will be low wind shear in parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and a wind pattern off west Africa that may feed developing storms.

People in hurricane-prone areas ought to start thinking about how they will handle the expected storms, and actively preparing for the chance of being in a storm's path, weather service director Jack Kelly cautioned.

``In the final analysis, even a perfect warning is an academic exercise if people don't get it or haven't thought about what they would do,'' Kelly said.''

Jerry Jarrell, director of the National Hurricane Center, warned residents in areas that could be affected by hurricanes to heed any and all evacuation orders.

But he cautioned against fleeing when no evacuation order has been given, saying it would be safer to stay put in that situation.

``You tend to have too many people evacuate,'' Jarrell noted. ``Trust me, there's not enough roads to get us all to Atlanta.''


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