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The 2006 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is officially here. This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center predicts an 80 percent chance of an above-normal storm season--with eight to 10 hurricanes and four to six major storms. The 2005 season produced a record 15 hurricanes and seven major storms.
Most of the conditions that contribute to the formation of hurricanes are menacing: considerably warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures, lower wind shear, reduced sea level pressure, and an active African easterly jet stream.