Revered hurricane forecaster Dr. William Gray and his team at Colorado State have just issued their revised forecast for the 2004 hurricane season. Gray predicts 14 named storms for this year, including 8 hurricanes, 3 of which he describes as "intense." Due to "an increase in surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and a decline in surface pressure in the tropical Atlantic," we're in the middle of an unusually active stretch of hurricane seasons.

What Gothamist really wants to know, though, is what the chances of NYC experiencing a hurricane are--not a little sissy tropical storm like Floyd who shut down the subways in '99 (admittedly after wreaking havoc on North Carolina), but one like the nasty no-namer of 1821 whose 13-foot storm surge covered lower Manhattan in one giant puddle stretching from the Hudson to the East River. Well, Gray's team predicts that for "the East Coast, including Florida Peninsula, the probability of an intense hurricane making landfall is 52 percent, compared with a long-term average of 31 percent."

We've still got until June 1 to set up our hurricane betting pool, but until then, you can check out the local Office of Emergency Management's hurricane pages, including maps to determine whether you're in an evacuation zone, a history of New York hurricanes, and a quick explanation of the Saffir-Simpson scale. Get this: if you live within 10 blocks of a coastal area, you are likely to be asked to evacuate! Hey, they don't call it the Columbia Waterfront District for nothing.