Latest prediction. Here is Dr. William Gray's projection for the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season:
Storm type l forecast l Avg.
Trop. storms 17
Major Hurricanes 5
The nation's most prominent hurricane forecaster and his team today updated predictions for the 2006 season, echoing an earlier report: It will be a busy and dangerous year. Dr. William Gray stuck with projections from his December 2005 forecast: There will be 17 tropical storms, nine of them strengthening to hurricane status and five of those becoming major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.
Never will Katrina be so little missed. Nor Dennis, Rita, Stan and Wilma - four other hurricane names from last year's devastating storms that have now been officially retired.
Normally six lists of names are used in rotation for storms in the Atlantic-Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico region, but names of particularly destructive storms are retired. The decision to retire these five names was made by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization meeting in Puerto Rico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced. They were part of a record 27 named storms and 15 hurricanes that occurred in 2005. The retired names will be replaced by Don, Katia, Rina, Sean and Whitney.
Some 67 names have been retired since storms were first named in 1953. The first to be dropped, in 1954, were Carol and Hazel. Last year's five is the most retired in a single year.
This year's hurricane names will be: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby,Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael,Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, William.