NOAA predicts active hurricane season this year

This year’s hurricane season, which starts June 1, will produce up to 10 hurricanes in the North Atlantic, up to six of which will be Category 3 (winds over 111 miles per hour) or above, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted yesterday. NOAA thinks it will be an above-average season, but less active than 2005, when there were 15 hurricanes. U.S. government agencies are stressing individual preparedness; acting Federal Emergency Management Agency Director David Paulison said the agency is better prepared this year (a low bar to clear), but noted that New Orleans evacuees currently living in government trailers on the coast would have to evacuate if winds reached even tropical-storm levels of 39 mph. Many scientists believe global warming is increasing hurricane intensity, and some are pondering whether to add a Category 6 (winds greater than 175 mph) to the current hurricane scale. Shiver our timbers.