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SHAKE AND BLOW
Be prepared for hurricanes, despite calm forecast, NOAA warns
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) May 29, 2014


Despite the quiet forecast for this year's hurricane season, the director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center warned Thursday not to let guards down completely.

Rick Knabb, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NHC, emphasized that even a single storm that hits land can have a huge impact.

He cautioned residents of all hurricane-prone areas, from the Caribbean to the United States, to be prepared, "because the consequences of not preparing are way too high."

Forecasters last week predicted the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season will be "near or below average," thanks to an expected El Nino phenomenon, with between eight and 13 tropical storms originating in the Atlantic Ocean, of which three to six could rise to hurricane strength.

But, "regardless of what the season forecast says, regardless of what 'El Nino' might do, regardless of how many years it has been since you've been impacted, you've got to prepare the same every year," Knabb said.

He stressed that seasonal forecasts -- which cover the period from June 1 to November 30 -- are not an exact science.

"Last year clearly showed that," Knabb said, referring to predictions of a more active than usual 2013 hurricane season, which ended up being the calmest on record since 1982.

"But even if we could issue a perfect seasonal forecast in terms of the overall number of hurricanes and storms, that still wouldn't tell you where the storms and hurricanes are going to go," he said.

Last week, the first named storm of the season became a category-four hurricane in the Pacific Ocean.

Although it remained far away from land, the storm sparked rains that have led to three deaths in Mexico. It has since been downgraded to a tropical depression.

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Amanda becomes category four hurricane in Pacific
Mexico City (AFP) May 25, 2014
Hurricane Amanda, the first named storm of the season, has intensified in the Pacific Ocean, rising to category four strength - but remains far from land, forecasters said Sunday. Mexico's National Water Commission forecast "no direct effects" for the Mexican coastline from the storm, but warned heavy rains and landslides could hit the western states of Jalisco and Michoacan. As of 0900 ... read more


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