Researchers predict hurricane-heavy 2003

Following a suppressed 2002 hurricane season, researchers in Colorado predict Atlantic basin hurricane activity to be well above average in 2003 – including twice as many hurricanes as in the previous year. For their first extended-range forecast for 2003, they predict that 12 named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Of these, eight will become hurricanes and three are anticipated to evolve into intense hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.