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YEAR 2000 - HURRICANE SEASON

Hurricane Season

WHAT TO DO WHEN A HURRICANE COMES?

Related News Stories

Head off hurricane woes - CNN (Jul 18, 2000)

Related Web Sites

CSU's Department of Atmospheric Science:

National Hurricane Center: Tropical Prediction Center - includes forecasts and storm names.

Hurricane & Storm Tracking for the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans - current advisories, bulletins, strike probabilities, storm positions, and animated storm movement plots.

South Florida Hurricane Central 2000 - news, preparation and shelter information, and other resources.

FEMA: Tropical Storm Watch - background information and updates from the Federal Emergencey Management Agency.

HURRICANE TRACKING

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Tropical Storm Debby Heads to Florida

By Eileen McNamara - Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2000; 11:24 a.m. EDT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Debby was downgraded to a tropical storm on Wednesday as it menaced the Bahamas after causing minor damage on several islands and just missing Puerto Rico. It was expected to regain strength over open waters and grow into a major storm as it nears South Florida.

The storm, dubbed "Little Debby" so far, is expected to become a hurricane again with wind speeds of up to 105 mph by an expected Friday approach southeast of Miami, said Krissy Williams, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

By 11 a.m. Wednesday, Debby was about 155 miles southeast of the Bahamas' Grand Turk Island and charging west at 16 mph. It was no longer strong enough to be called a hurricane, with sustained wind of 70 mph. The threshold for a hurricane is 75 mph.

The Bahamas began sending soldiers to several southern islands on Tuesday and planned to send more to other islands Wednesday to prepare for the storm.

In Florida, emergency officials urged southern residents to begin paying close attention to weather reports. "We're like everybody else," said Elizabeth Hirst, spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush. "In the wait-and-see mode."

South Floridians stuffed shopping carts with bottled water, canned food, milk, batteries and emergency supplies just in case.

"It's good to be prepared because even if the hurricane doesn't hit, we may still get blackouts," said Clara Milanes, 64, who bought a battery-powered light and candles Tuesday at a Wal-Mart.

Hurricane warnings were posted for the Turks and Caicos, the southeastern and central Bahamas and the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Hurricane watches were in effect for the northern parts of the Bahamas, Haiti and Cuba.

On the Net:   National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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Friday August 4 3:33 PM ET

Gray: Hurricane Season Not As Bad

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Hurricane forecaster William Gray said Thursday the 2000 season will not be as bad as first predicted.

In his June forecast, the Colorado State University professor predicted 12 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

Data received since the official start of the season June 1 have convinced Gray there will be only 11 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

He said cooler Atlantic Ocean surface water temperatures and a weakening La Nina are responsible for the declining threat. The season still will be busier than the average of 9.3 named storms, 5.8 hurricanes and 2.2 major hurricanes.

The late onset of storms is not a factor in his decision to revise his forecast.

``The fact that we haven't had an early season storm doesn't mean anything,'' Gray said. ``There is no correlation between June and July storms and what may take place later in the season; in fact, there's some evidence for a slight negative correlation (i.e., the absence of early season storms is made up for by late-season activity.''

He said he expects the main season to occur more or less on scheduled during the 60 days starting Aug. 20.

``We thought we had verification that La Nina would continue relatively strong throughout the season, but it appears to be fading a little more rapidly than we expected,'' Gray said. ``Under those circumstances, we're reducing our early June forecast numbers a little, although people should remember that there still is the possibility of this being a very active season, especially compared with the 1970-1994 period.''

Gray has warned that a decline in hurricanes from 1970-94 has lulled southeastern coastal dwellers into a false sense of security, particularly with the population boom in the region.

What coastal dwellers should anticipate, Gray said, is an active hurricane season but slightly weaker than those that occurred in 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999. The five years beginning in 1995 constitute the five most active consecutive years of hurricane activity in history, producing 65 named storms, 41 hurricanes and 20 major hurricanes.

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Alberto is First Tropical Storm of Atlantic Season

Reuters

MIAMI (Aug. 4, 2000) - Tropical Storm Alberto formed Friday in the far eastern Atlantic -- the first of the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season -- but it was no threat to any land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The Atlantic season started June 1 but no tropical storms or hurricanes had formed until Friday. The most active part of the season begins in mid-August.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the center of Alberto was located about 170 miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa at latitude 12.4 north and longitude 25.0 west. The system was moving to the west at about 17 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

Its maximum sustained winds were about 40 mph and were expected to strengthen during the next 24 hours.

Forecasters said Alberto could be a hurricane in the next couple of days.

The circular weather systems that form hurricanes are called tropical storms and are given names when maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph and become hurricanes when winds hit 74 mph.

Colorado State University professor Dr. Bill Gray, a noted hurricane forecaster, said in a statement Friday that the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season would probably not be as active as previously expected.

He predicted the season would produce 11 named storms, seven hurricanes and three ''major'' hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. In June Gray predicted 12 storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

He said cool Atlantic waters and a weakening La Nina cold-water phenomenon in the Pacific made it less likely hurricanes would form.

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

HURRICANES 1999

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