orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

October 2, 2008

Forecasters predict October to be a busy month for hurricanes

Southeast Texans may still feel Hurricane Ike’s bite, but hurricane season is not over yet and forecasters with the Colorado State University predict October to pack a punch.

October is expected to be above average in activity. Forecasters expect to see three named storms with two of the storms becoming hurricanes. They also expect one of the hurricanes to become a Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane. Overall, the forecast team expects activity to be nearly twice the activity of the average October. according to CSU forecasters.

Through September, this season has experienced 12 major storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. There have been 74 named storm days so far this season which is nearly twice the number of storm days expected through the end of September.

“We expect the month of October to be quite active,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the hurricane forecast in a press release. ‘We continue to observe low sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic. A combination of these two factors typically leads to an active October.”

Additionally, forecasters have continued to observe neutral ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) conditions in the tropical Pacific and do not expect the conditions to be detrimental to October’s activity.

‘We predict the October will be quite active based on the climate signals through September,” said Dr. William Gray, of CSU who has been issuing forecast for more than 25 years. “There has been a strong clustering of hurricane activity around mid-July and late August-early September. We think we are entering a new period of heightened activity that is likely to go for another two to three weeks.”

Three named storms formed during a very active July, which were Hurricanes Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly. Bertha became the longest lived July storm on record. Dolly made landfall in South Texas as a Category 2 hurricane.

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