Hurricane season might ease swelter

Don't let the high temperatures this week panic you; officials are predicting moderate highs for the next three months.


While Florida and Texas are expected to swelter, Georgia could see more "normal" high temperatures and rainfall, according to Dave Schutrum, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in West Columbia, S.C.

By July, Schutrum said, our chances for rainfall will increase because of hurricane season -- which began today.

"I think the reason for that is they are taking into account tropical weather," he said.

The Augusta area is nearly 3 inches below normal in rainfall for the year. Since January, about 16.3 inches have fallen, he said.

Schutrum said normal highs for the summer will be about 87 degrees. Of course, these are long-term projections and subject to change, he said.

The rest of this week, however, will be above normal. According to the weather service's Web site, temperatures will be in the upper 90s through next week.

"For the next week, week-and-a-half, we are going to have above-normal temperatures with below-normal rainfall," he said. "And that's this heat spell we're having with this high pressure."

Officials are predicting a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday but otherwise clear.

A look back at summer heat
May95 (May 23, 28, 29)100 (May 26, 1926)
June104 (June 15)105 (June 28, 1931)
July103 (July 9)107 (July 13,1980)
August98 (Aug. 12)108 (Aug. 21, 1983)
September98 (Sept. 3, 9, 20)106 (Sept. 4, 1925)

Source: National Weather Service, West Columbia, S.C.

Experts expect a busy storm season

The tough task of guessing what the hurricane season will look like could be even more difficult this year for forecasters, who won't be able to rely on the relatively predictable forces known as El Nino and La Nina.

So far, the National Hurricane Center in Miami is predicting the season that began today will be a busier one than normal, with as many as 18 named tropical storms, three to six of them major hurricanes.

El Nino and La Nina - warming and cooling trends in the ocean that can either rev up hurricanes or suppress them - are expected to be essentially neutral.

The last time that happened was 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hammered the Gulf Coast with lethal results.

- Associated Press




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