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July 2003 Vol. 18, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Hurricane Season: Bad News and Good News

from the July, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Planning to dive the Caribbean this fall? Beware. U.S. government experts see twice as many hurricanes forming this year than last -- meaning 11 to 15 named tropical storms that grow into six to nine hurricanes. Two to four of these hurricanes could become intense.

While hurricane season spans June 1 to November 30, September and October are the more intense months. Popular destinations such as the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, and Honduras are frequently in the paths of major storms. Says Michael Brown, who runs the Federal Emergency Management Agency, "let me put it in laymen's terms. This season could be really bad.''

But there is some good news for divers here. The more intense Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season is spawned by warmer-than-usual Atlantic waters and developing cold water in the eastern Pacific that inhibits the formation of hurricane-destroying crosswinds. The Pacific La Nina conditions (the opposite of El Nino) mean that divers visiting Cocos, the Galapagos, and other Pacific venues should have exceptional big fish action thanks to cooler water.

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