Tropical Weather expert William Gray talks oil and hurricanes - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tropical Weather expert William Gray talks oil and hurricanes

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Forecasters at Colorado StateUniversity predict an active hurricane season that could complicate efforts to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The researchers said Wednesday that they expect 18 named storms to develop in the Atlantic, including 10 hurricanes. Five are expected to be major.

Researcher William Gray said if a storm develops west of the spill, its counterclockwise rotation could drive the oil to beaches to the north. But Gray said a storm developing to the east could help drive oil away from the coast.

Storms could also churn up the water, causing the oil to sink below the surface and the spill to disperse.  Gray said there have been some similarities between the lead-up to this hurricane season and other big hurricane years, including 2005 when Katrina hit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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