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Welcome to Hurricane Season 2011


ST. PETERSBURG, FL (AP) -- The hurricane season officially begins today, and it apparently won't be an easy one for forecasters.

This year, both the El Nino and La Nina effects are relatively quiet, making forecasting harder. Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski of says a strong warming or cooling trend makes prediction "much easier."

The last time temperatures were neutral was 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita slammed into the Gulf Coast.

This year, the National Hurricane Center is expecting the storm season to be busier than usual: up to 18 named tropical storms, with three to six of them major hurricanes.

Last year was the third-most active season on record, with 19 named storms, 12 of which became hurricanes. But only one gave the US any problems.

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