Magazine article USA TODAY

Hurricane Season: Here We Go Again!

Magazine article USA TODAY

Hurricane Season: Here We Go Again!

Article excerpt

An active hurricane season appears imminent, which could have major repercussions for the U.S. economy and the one in six Americans who live on the Eastern Seaboard or along the western Gulf of Mexico, predicts AccuWeather.com, State College, Pa.

For the 2006 hurricane season--which traditionally runs from June 1 through Nov. 30--chief forecaster Joe Bastardi and his team are saying that six tropical cyclones will make landfall in the U.S. Five of these are likely to be hurricanes, with three being major ones of Category 3 or greater.

"The 2006 season will be a creeping threat," warns Bastardi. "Early in the season, the Texas Gulf Coast faces the highest likelihood of a hurricane strike, possibly putting Gulf energy production in the line of fire. [Then], through much of the rest of the season, the highest level of risk shifts to the Carolinas. From mid August into early October, the window is wide open for hurricane strikes to [track] northward to the more densely populated Northeast coast. At the very end of the season, southern Florida also faces significant hurricane risky."

"There are few areas of the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico that will not be in the bull's eye at some point this season," notes Ken Reeves, AccuWeather's director of Forecast Operations. "Ironically, though, the region that was hammered the hardest last year--the central and eastern Gulf Coast--has one of the lower probabilities of receiving another major hurricane strike in 2006. …

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