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Quieter hurricane season for Canadians?

Staff writers
June 1, 2012 — Katrina, Juan, Igor and Hazel. These are only a handful of names that conjure somber memories of storms that have shattered the lives of millions of people and devastated entire coastlines. As hurricane season gears up, we will be premiering a feature on these ferocious natural disasters titled, "Hurricane". The special will be hosted by Chris St. Clair and air on Wednesday, June 20 at 7 pm ET and 10 pm ET.

2012 storm names
2012 storm names

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says this year's season could be quieter than normal in the Atlantic. 

Despite two named storms forming before the official season start date, this year's Atlantic hurricane season could be quieter than average.

That's according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, also known as the CHC.

"We do have El Niņo on the go in the Pacific Ocean and that's one of our main dictators for this hurricane season," says Chris Fogarty with the CHC.

El Niņo conditions typically affect the upper level winds in the atmosphere over the Atlantic, which tends to reduce the chance of hurricane formation. Fogarty adds that the water is a little cooler in the tropical Atlantic as well this year.

"That's another indicator for a quiter than normal season."

One major storm can cause significant damage to a community
One major storm can cause significant damage to a community

Still, officials urge Canadians not to let their guards down. It only takes one major storm to cause significant damage within a community. A mild winter and spring has lead to warmer waters in Atlantic Canada and that could have an affect on storm impact in Canada.

"We'll watch to see how long those warmer waters stay in Atlantic Canada because that could lead to the potential for storms to maintain a little bit of a tropical character further to the north," says Fogarty.

The Weather Network's Summer Outlook, which will be released on Monday, June 4, will give a clearer indication of what Atlantic Canadians can expect in terms of temperatures and conditions this summer.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1. According to the The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), between 10-15 named storms are predicted this year with 5-8 of them potentially becoming hurricanes.

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