Hurricane season ends with a whimper

MIAMI, United States, November 28, 2007 – The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends Friday with a mere six of the 14 named storms becoming hurricanes this year.

The less than scary season came despite alarming predictions from experts prior to the commencement of the season, which began officially in June.

Only two of the hurricanes this season became major ones. Officials had expected 17 storms this season but unless another hits by Friday, the season will conclude on an average note compared to the 1950-2000 average.

Still for several Caribbean nations hit by storms like Noel, Felix and Dean, the season was far from average. Some 200 people killed in Martinique, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua and Mexico was blamed on the storms.

Scientists at the Colorado State University said yesterday, “cooler water and wind shear in the central tropical Atlantic resulted in this season not being above average as (they had) predicted.

“The reasons for this year’s average season are challenging to explain,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author on the forecasts. “It is impossible to understand how all these processes interact with each other to 100 percent certainty. Continued research should help us better understand these complicated atmospheric/oceanic interactions.”

“The 2006 and 2007 Atlantic basin hurricane seasons were much less active than 2004 and 2005,” added William Gray, who led the forecast team at Colorado State for 23 years. “Overall, the season witnessed average activity.”

Gray and his Colorado State team have provided seasonal Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts for 24 years. (