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      How El NiÃo can impact the 2014 hurricane season

      Hurricanes need warm water and light winds to develop and intensify. / Kerri Copello


      Hurricanes need warm water and light winds to develop and intensify.

      This year is considered an El NiÃo year and meteorologists are expecting that stronger winds at the ocean surface will lower the number of storms that will develop this season.

      If El NiÃo does materialize this year, we may see fewer storms, but that doesn't mean that there won't be any hurricanes.

      Director of the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Rick Knabb says "even in below average years, we've had hurricanes make landfall in the United States, even major hurricanes, and there can be people that die, and there can be damage regardless of what El NiÃo and La NiÃa are doing in any given hurricane season."

      The other thing that El NiÃo can do for our region is make winter and the early part of 2015 very wet. With already high water levels, just one tropical system this summer or fall could cause substantial flooding.

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