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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Facts about... hurricanes.


CURWOOD: June marks the start of the Atlantic storm season. Last year was the second worst season ever recorded. There were 19 named storms. Eleven were hurricanes and 5 had winds of more than 110 miles an hour. The worst season on record was 1933, when there were 21 named storms. The following year the National Weather Service started tracking hurricanes and tropical storms. Tracking at first depended on land-based observers. Then in the mid-40s aircraft started flying into storms to measure wind speed and barometric pressure. In the '60s the Weather Service added satellite photography. Today the National Hurricane Center relies on everything from high-altitude jets to advanced radar. After last year's near record, some predict a milder season for 1996. Professor William Gray of Colorado State University, the Punxsutawney Phil of the hurricane set, forecasts an average year with 10 named storms, 6 of which are expected to blow into hurricanes. And we've already had our first; tropical storm Arthur has just given the mid-Atlantic states a good drenching. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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