A TORNADO WATCH has been issued for Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Lee, Leon, Milam, Madison, Montgomery, Houston, Trinity, Walker, Waller, Washington, San Jacinto and Robertson Counties until 9:00am Monday morning. A line of strong to severe thunderstorms is moving through the Brazos Valley this morning. Heavy rain, frequent lightning, and winds above 50 mph are our main concerns. However, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
One day after the 2007 hurricane predictions were released, a local expert weighed in on the number of predicted storms.
Tuesday, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced it anticipates an active hurricane season.
Experts predict 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 of which could become hurricanes, and three to five could be major.
But are the predictions too high? One expert says no.
"I think they're pretty much right on the money," Texas A&M University Meteorology Professor John Nielsen-Gammon said. "Hurricanes will be favored to form in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean and once you get a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico there's no place for it to go, but make landfall somewhere."
Experts overpredicted last year, citing El Nino for a mild season.
No matter if this year's prediction is lower or higher than what is to come, experts say be ready for the worst.
"People are not going to be doing things differently or shouldn't be doing things differently based on whether it's supposed to be a normal year or active year," Nielsen-Gammon said. "They should make intelligent preparations no matter what the forecast is."
That could be the case, especially if 2007 is a repeat of 2005, the record year of 28 tropical storms and 15 hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina.
The 2007 hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.
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