Noted hurricane forecaster Dr. William Gray has offered up his 2008 Atlantic hurricane season predictions. (The season begins on June 1 and runs through November 30.)

Hurricane Katrina, 8/29/05: This image was taken by NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES).
Hurricane Katrina, 8/29/05: This image was taken by NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES).Courtesy NOAA

Gray's team, working out of Colorado State University, is predicting an above-normal season, with 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes (category 3 storms or higher). Why? A La Nina pattern creates cool water conditions in the Pacific and warm sea surface temperatures in the eastern Atlantic. Warm sea surface temperatures are critical to the formation of hurricanes.

What's "above average"? An average hurricane season produces about 10 tropical storms and 6 hurricanes. In 2007, 14 tropical storms formed, and 6 of those strengthened into hurricanes. But 2005, of course, was a record-shattering year, with 28 storms, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Here's the Science Buzz feature on hurricanes.

Buzz thread on Hurricane Katrina, started on 8/29/2005.

Buzz thread on Hurricane Rita, started on 9/22/2005.

Buzz thread on the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season

Buzz thread on the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season

Do you know about the 1938 hurricane that crashed into New England?

Interesting weather websites

Share your natural disaster stories.

And, lastly, here are the hurricane names for 2008:

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gustav
  • Hanna
  • Ike
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Marco
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paloma
  • Rene
  • Sally
  • Teddy
  • Vicky
  • and Wilfred

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Thor's picture
Thor says:

Aw darn.....no hurricanes to be named "Thor" again this year. They never pick that name.

posted on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 12:57pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

Come on Thor! You've already got a corner on the thunder market; what more do you want? Paul Douglas's job?

posted on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 7:46pm
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

cool names, but no so cool when it hits....

posted on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 8:55am
Amanda M's picture
Amanda M says:

Why is it keep going up each year but the storms go down for the count but now they are just starting to get stronger its nerve wrecking

posted on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 9:00am
terry moreau's picture
terry moreau says:

as a louisiana person, I am very concerned about the hurricanes predicted this year. are we in for another season as 2005 when our state was devastated by first katrina and then rita? as a rule we only get hit every other year by the storms. last year was very quiet for us along the gulf. are we in for a rock year this year? I pray not. those people who live up north don't know the magnitude of these storms. i pray that we are spared this year. we can't fight nature and we can't stop it although both are being worked on. i just pray that we take heed to warnings, keep our eyes and ears open,and prepare for what 's to come.

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 11:12am
ANUTIE 'M's picture
ANUTIE 'M says:

Forcasts change all the time its just a prediction. I live down here and these storms are, have been, and will always be, around. At least its not an Earthquake....Oh wait those have been around a long time as well...

posted on Thu, 05/08/2008 - 11:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think Bertha is gonna be a big storm. BIG BERTHA IS COMING! YA"LL look out now. It is always the female storms that are bad.

posted on Tue, 05/13/2008 - 11:43am
jimh's picture
jimh says:

One of the reasons the Myanmar cyclone (a hurricane in Asia)was so devastating was that the mangrove swamps there have been removed to build shrimp farms. As with Katrina, the storm was worse because the
native vegetation wasn't there to moderate the storm surge.

posted on Tue, 05/13/2008 - 12:51pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) forecast also predicts an above-average 2008 season...

posted on Thu, 05/22/2008 - 3:13pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

This article argues that hurricane predictions have no predictive value, and that emergency management teams do not take them into account when making plans for the year.

posted on Mon, 06/02/2008 - 8:53pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Blogger Brandan Loy discusses
the value and accuracy of hurricane season predictions.

posted on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 9:05pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Bertha has officially become a hurricane, and, true to her name, she's getting bigger. It looks like Bertha will become a category 2 hurricane within the next 12 hours before weakening again in a day or two.

Check in out.

Also, on July 7, 1996, another hurricane Bertha formed over the Atlantic. How about that? July 7, 2020—mark it.

posted on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 12:04pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

New forecast: Bertha is now predicted to become a category 3 storm, but its path is still uncertain. A category 3 classification would make Bertha a "major" storm--the first of the year, and one of four predicted by Colorado State.

posted on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 8:37pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Tropical storm Cristobal is headed back out to sea after dropping lots of rain on the Carolinas, but tropical storm Dolly is headed into the Gulf of Mexico, and a hurricane watch has been issued.

posted on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 10:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how do the pick names for hurrianes?

posted on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 9:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why in abc order?

posted on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 1:22pm
DO's picture
DO says:

The original Big Bertha was a cannon designed by the Germans to shell Paris. It was named for the wife of the owner of the Krupp works where it was cast.

posted on Fri, 11/06/2009 - 2:28pm

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