Storm season begins

Outer bands of Hurricane Charlie blow into Cedar Key in August of 2004.

Sun file photo
Published: Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 11:26 p.m.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts today, but the forecasts predicting how many hurricanes the season will bring have been pouring in since the last hurricane season ended in December.

Here's a glimpse of what a few of the major forecasting agencies are predicting for this season.

Farmer's Almanac forecasts a hurricane along the Gulf Coast, July 16-19. Hurricane threat along Gulf Coast and Southeast, Aug. 12-15. Hurricane threat along Gulf Coast, with heavy rain to the north and east, Sept. 12-15.

Colorado State University forecast team predicts an above-average season, with 15 named storms. Eight of those storms are expected to become hurricanes. Of those eight, four are expected to develop into hurricanes of "major" force - Category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center forecasts a near-normal or above-normal season, with 12 to 16 named storms, including six to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

The year 2007 produced 14 named storms, including six hurricanes, two of which became major hurricanes. One hurricane, one tropical storm and three tropical depressions struck the United States: Tropical Depression Barry came ashore near Tampa on June 2; Tropical Depression Erin hit Southeast Texas on Aug. 16; Tropical Depression Ten came ashore along the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 21; Tropical Storm Gabrielle hit North Carolina on Sept. 9; and Hurricane Humberto hit the upper Texas coast on Sept. 13.

Amy Reinink can be reached at 352-374-5088 or

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