2006 hurricanes may hit northeast, sparing the Gulf Coast
— reported by KTRK ABC Channel 13
In two weeks, the 2006 hurricane season will officially begin — and it may well be different from recent years.
The good news, experts say, is that due to a cyclical pattern, the hard-hit Gulf Coast most likey will escape the devastation it experienced last season.
“We’re projecting two-thirds of activity of last year, not as much as last year,” said Dr. Bill Gray, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University.
The bad news is that the concentration of hurricane activity is predicted to move up the eastern seaboard this season.
“We think that the mid to latter part of the season, the heart of the hurricane season, is going to be an especially busy one along eastern seaboard,” said Joe Bastardi, a hurricane forecaster at Accuweather.
One of the worst-case scenarios is a hurricane hitting the Northeast.
The Gulf of Mexico was hit earliest and hardest this past hurricane season, but this year it may well escape a major blow. It is possible that New Orleans, still reeling from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, could be hit again, but experts predict that would be rather unlikely.
A record-breaking number of tropical storms and major hurricanes hit the Atlantic Coast last season, the strongest of which — Katrina, Dennis, Wilma and Rita — slammed the western Gulf Coast. They were the some the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in history.