Hurricane Wilma 2005The mean season has arrived. During the 10-week stretch from mid-August through October, the most powerful storms tend to form in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Normally, ocean waters heat up and wind shear eases during the heart of the season, allowing tropical systems to form and grow.

The good news this year: Tropical waters should remain cooler than normal and wind shear stronger than normal over the entire Atlantic basin for the remainder of the hurricane season. There is also abundance of dry air which makes it harder for storms to start up.

Because of these tropically hostile conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for one to four hurricanes to emerge between now and Nov. 30 — on average it would be five hurricanes.

Just the same, forecasters urge residents to remain alert, particularly for the next three months. After all the devastating Hurricane Andrew appeared at the end of August in a quiet season in 1992.,0,885410.story