Facts and figures about the 2007 hurricane season May 09, 2007 Share 1 -- Here's what's expected for this hurricane season, which officially stretches from June 1 through Nov. 30 in the Atlantic basin and from May 15 to Nov. 30 in the Pacific basin. According to Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Dept., the forecast for the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season calls for 17 named storms, with nine of those storms becoming hurricanes, five of which will develop into major hurricanes (with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher).Furthermore, the forecast said there is a 74% chance of a major hurricane making U.S. landfall, compared with the average of 52% over the past 100 years.A forecast for the 2007 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season has not yet been released.2006 recapLast May, the Colorado State University team made the same forecast for 2006: 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five of them major ones. The forecast carried an 81% chance that at least one major hurricane would hit the U.S. In reality, there were 10 named storms, five hurricanes, two of them major, but none hit the U.S. Atlantic coast.It was a different story in the Pacific region, which was predicted to be slower than normal. However, the region was more active than ever, with 18 named storms, 10 of which were hurricanes and six of them major.Fortunately, most of the larger storms brushed Mexico's sparsely populated western coast, although the resorts in the Cabo San Lucas area did evacuate guests on several occasions as a precaution.What's in a name?An Australian meteorologist began giving womens names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century. In 1953, the National Weather Service began using female names for storms. In 1979, the National Weather Service started using mens names, too.The World Meteorological Organization uses six lists of names in its Atlantic and East Pacific basin rotations. A name is retired if a hurricane is very deadly or very costly. A total of 68 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin.In 2005, the Greek alphabet was used for the first time because the names on the standard list had been exhausted. The Greek alphabet is used for overflow storms in both the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.The official names for the 2007 hurricane seasonAtlantic basinAndrea, Barry, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, WendyEast Pacific basinAlvin, Barbara, Cosme, Dalila, Erick, Flossie, Gil, Henriette, Ivo, Juliette, Kiko, Lorena, Manuel, Narda, Octave, Priscilla, Raymond, Sonia, Tico, Velma, Wallis, Xina, York, ZeldaGet More!To keep track of the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season and how it is affecting the travel industry, click here. More links will be added as articles go live on TravelWeekly.com.Tracking the intensity: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane ScaleTropical Depression: Sustained winds up to 38 mph. Tropical Storm: Sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.Category 1 hurricane: Sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph. No real damage to building structures is seen with primary damage noticed on shrubbery and trees. Some flooding and minor pier damage may occur as well. Hurricanes Allison in 1995 and Danny in 1997 were Category 1 hurricanes at peak intensity.Category 2 hurricane: Sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph; storm surge is generally about six to eight feet above normal. Building structures could incur damage to roofs, doors and windows; considerable damage to shrubbery and trees as well. Hurricane Bonnie in 1998 was a Category 2 storm when it hit the North Carolina coast, while Hurricane Georges in 1998 was a Category 2 storm when it hit the Florida Keys and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.Category 3 hurricane: Sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph; storm surge is about nine to 12 feet above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings is seen, as is damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs can be destroyed. Significant flooding (up to eight miles inland) can occur. Hurricanes Roxanne in 1995 and Fran in 1996 were Category 3 hurricanes at landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and in North Carolina, respectively.Category 4 hurricane: Sustained winds of 131 to 155 mph; storm surge is about 13 to 18 feet above normal. Extensive damage to small residences; complete destruction of mobile homes; shrubs, trees and all signs are blown down. In addition, major flooding could occur and evacuations of residential areas as far inland as six miles could be required. Hurricane Luis in 1995 was a Category 4 hurricane while moving over the Leeward Islands. Hurricanes Felix and Opal in 1995 also reached Category 4 status at peak intensity. And Hurricane Dennis in 2005 was a Category 4 hurricane when it passed over Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica before being downgraded to a Category 3 storm and making landfall near Pensacola, Fla.Category 5 hurricane: Sustained winds greater than 155 mph; storm surge is generally greater than 18 feet above normal. Damage can be complete roof and structure failure on many residences and industrial buildings; all shrubs, trees and signs blown down; complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive flooding and evacuations may be required up to five to 10 miles inland. Hurricane Mitch in 1998 was a Category 5 hurricane at peak intensity over the western Caribbean. Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 was a Category 5 hurricane at peak intensity and is one of the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclones of record. Meanwhile, the 2005 season saw four storms reach Category 5 intensity -- Emily (top winds 161mph), Katrina (top winds 173 mph), Rita (top winds 178 mph) and Wilma (top winds 184 mph). Wilma now has the distinction of being the most powerful hurricane on record.