Florida watches warily as next storm churns: "Florida residents stung by two deadly hurricanes in less than a month are bracing for anotherand forecasters say conditions are right for even more Atlantic storms this fall."
"Experts predicted in April that this year's hurricane season could be one of the worst ever, fueled partly by unusually warm water in the Atlantic. There were eight named tropical storms in August, tying the U.S. record for most in a month. The hurricane season runs from June through November.
"Hurricane expert William Gray, who heads the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, says the warm-water effect is one of two major factors in this year's above-average onslaught. The other is a lack of the west winds that can stop hurricanes from forming off Africa.
"Forecasters say it's too soon to say whether Ivan will hit Florida. But the State Emergency Operations Center has alerted all agencies to prepare for it. The National Hurricane Center says if Ivan reaches the Caribbean, that sea's warm water will be like 'high-octane gas for hurricanes.'"