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Hurricane season sets records

Over the weekend, Hurricane Paloma set another of those records that sends chills down spines in the Caribbean - for the first time major hurricanes formed in five successive months, from July through November. And the total energy carried by storms this year is double that of last year.

The hurricane season in the north Atlantic officially runs from June to the end of November. The odd storm may blow up in May or December, but usually the most storms and the strongest ones come from mid-August to mid-October. By early November, residents of hurricane-prone areas usually can relax.

Not this year. Paloma formed as a tropical depression off Nicaragua on Wednesday morning, and reached tropical storm strength Thursday. That night it reached hurricane strength, and then turned northeast toward the Cayman Islands and Cuba. It peaked at Category 4 strength on Saturday, and weakened slightly before hitting Cuba.

Image Above: NOAA satellite image taken Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 at 1:45 a.m. EST shows Hurricane Paloma located about about 125 miles southwest of Grand Cayman. Paloma is a Category 1 hurricane and is moving northward at about 8 mph. The system continues to generate strong winds, heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND) (AP)
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