The 2001 Atlantic hurricane season dawned quietly on June 1, but storm experts warned people in hurricane alley early-season peace was no reason to let down your guard.
June storms are a relative rarity in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Peak hurricane activity strikes in late August, September and early October.
With climatic indicators on neutral, the prominent forecasters of nature's biggest storms are projecting an average season. U.S. government experts
say residents of the Caribbean basin
and the U.S. East and Gulf coasts are likely to see five to seven hurricanes and eight to 11 tropical storms.
Colorado State University Professor William Gray, a forecaster who has had some success predicting hurricane activity in the past, has projected 10 tropical storms, with six becoming hurricanes, three of them "major" with top winds of 111 mph (179 kph) or higher.