Dr. Gray Does It Again

An atmospheric scientist hailed as the nation’s

foremost forecaster has lowered his forecast for hurricanes for the

remainder of 2002 — the second time he’s done so in recent months.

In early April, William Gray of Colorado State University

predicted that the year would see 12 named storms — including

seven hurricanes, three of them major. On May 31st, he reduced the

forecast to eleven named storms — including six hurricanes, two of

them major.

Yesterday, he reduced his forecast to nine named storms, four of

them hurricanes and one of them a major hurricane.

Gray says rapidly changing conditions in the Atlantic Ocean

between April and July have created an atmosphere less conducive to

hurricane formation. He also credits a strengthening El Nino with

reducing storm activity. El Nino — a mass of warm water in the

equatorial Pacific — tends to inhibit hurricane formation.

Gray warns that the reduced forecast doesn’t ensure there won’t

be significant hurricane-spawned destruction this year.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew was the only major storm in a very

inactive year, but caused extensive damage in South Florida and


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