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A look at hurricane season so far


How is the 2011 hurricane season shaping up?
How is the 2011 hurricane season shaping up?

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

August 2, 2011 — The Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane seasons are underway. How does this year compare to others?

The tracks of this year's Atlantic storms so far
The tracks of this year's Atlantic storms so far

The Atlantic and eastern Pacific are neck and neck in terms of the number of named storms seen so far this season.

By August 1st -- the two-month mark for the season -- both regions had seen five named storms.

That was above average for the Atlantic, said Mark Robinson, a meteorologist and storm chaser at The Weather Network.

“Normally the Atlantic sees two named storms by August 1st,” he said. “We had three in July alone.”

However, none of those named storms reached hurricane strength.

By contrast, the eastern Pacific saw four hurricanes in the same time frame.

One, Dora, reached category four strength.

However, Robinson said the season start was actually below average.

“By August 1st, they're usually at six named storms,” he said, adding the lingering La Niña pattern in the Pacific is most likely to blame.

The eastern Pacific hurricane season has been below average so far
The eastern Pacific hurricane season has been below average so far

However, he cautioned that hurricane season is just beginning to heat up.

“We're nowhere near the peak of hurricane season, and the pattern, climatologically speaking, is definitely pointing to an above-average season.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had previously predicted up to 18 named storms for the Atlantic this year but later updated their predictions to include more hurricanes. Mexico's weather commission predicted 14 named storms for the Pacific.

Visit The Weather Network's Tropical Storm Centre for updates and information on the 2011 hurricane season.

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