Jan 16, 2007
Hurricane Predictions for 2007
The Florida Legislature and Gov. Charlie Crist are promising insurance rate relief for the state's property owners. Scientists who study hurricanes are promising no such relief from tropical storms.The British group Tropical Storm Risk, one of the most accurate forecasters, predicts this year will see 15 named storms, eight of them hurricanes, of which four will be Category 3 or stronger. The William Gray team at Colorado State University expects 14 named storms, with seven hurricanes, three intense.That would be significantly higher than last year, when for just the 11th time since 1945 no hurricanes struck the United States. Last year's total storm damage of $490 million was a fraction of the $134 billion in 2005 and $40 billion in 2004.Forecasters insist 2006 was a freak year and that the Atlantic remains in a decades-long period when it is ripe for spawning hurricanes.