Breaking News The tropical storm named "Irene" has almost reached hurricane status. Recent measurements indicate that this massive storm has created 70 mph winds; once the winds reach 74 mph it will be an "official" hurricane. The storm is moving north/northwest at about 10 miles per hour nearly 500 miles off the coast of North Carolina. It is expected to curve away from the Atlantic Seaboard by late tomorrow. For the rest of the story, click here.
According to MSNBC, there have been an unusually high number of named storms this Atlantic Hurricane season (June 1 to Nov. 30th). Usually, by this time only two storms have been named, but by the 9th of July we had already named Arlene, Bret, Cindy and Dennis.
People are still rebuilding from last year's barrage of 9 storms in just August and September, but now, this season's total has been upped to 8 with Emily, Franklin, Gert, and Irene. And the season is only half over!
The number of named storms in July alone reached 5, which breaks the previous record of 4. This season tied the 1916 record of 2 for the number of hurricanes in July.
According to Forecaster William Gray of Colorado State University, the chances for major hurricane damage along the East Coast is almost twice as high as an average year. He has upped his prediction for the number of named storms from 11 in December 2004 to 13 and now to 15. To put this in perspective, the average number of named storms is only 9.6.