NOAA predicts very busy Atlantic Hurricane season for 2010

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today predicted an “active to extremely active” hurricane season in 2010.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center today issued a seasonal outlook for the Atlantic Hurricane season, which spans June 1 through the end of November.

View PennEnergy’s Global Offshore Weather Report for the Gulf of Mexico – or the eight other offshore regions covered daily.

With 70 percent certainty, the NOAA is predicting anywhere from 14 to 23 named storms, of which 8 to 14 will become hurricanes and 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes. This is more than the seasonal average of 11 named storms with six hurricanes, of which two are major.

“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator.

Both warm Atlantic Ocean water and weaker wind shear are factors that may contribute to a more active hurricane season.

NOAA stresses the public to be prepared for the impending hurricane season, and President Obama recently designated May 23-29 as National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Hurricanes entering the Gulf of Mexico pose a unique threat to oil and gas exploration and production, as well as refineries and pipelines along the Gulf Coast. After experiencing catastrophic damages during the 2005 and 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season, the petroleum industry has instituted a number of new safety measures.

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