Thursday, June 03, 2010

Abnormally high Atlantic Ocean temperatures mean revised extreme hurricane season for 2010

The expected extreme hurricane season this year is seen posing a threat to efforts to control and clean up oil spewing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well owned by BP Plc, described by President Barack Obama's administration as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Experts warn that a storm surge in the Gulf of Mexico -- an abnormal rise in sea level created by a hurricane -- could whip the oil slick and chemicals used in trying to disperse it out of the Gulf and ashore on beaches, vegetation and even homes.

SHOOT: 5 major hurricanes predicted. That's a lot.
clipped from
NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Katrina.

MIAMI (Reuters) –
The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be even more active than feared, leading U.S. forecasters said on Wednesday as they predicted 10 hurricanes, five of them major, with a 76 percent likelihood that a major hurricane would hit the U.S. coastline.

The outlook from the Colorado State University team follows predictions by U.S. government scientists for an intense season that could disrupt efforts to contain a huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and also batter earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

CSU saw 10 becoming hurricanes, with five becoming major Category 3 or higher hurricanes with winds above 110 miles per hour (177 km per hour).

"The probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 76 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent," said forecaster Phil Klotzbach, who works with Gray.

It put the chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean at 65 percent.

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