The Pacific Ocean cool current known as La Nina is continuing along the Equator this winter. La Nina occurs when ocean water temperatures go below normal near and along the Equator. In winter it usually means dry conditions in the Southeast, which has been the case since La Nina started last spring. In the summer and fall it usually means an increased number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The bottom line is that Eastern North Carolina would have a greater risk than average of being impacted by these storms. Dr. William Gray, a leading forecaster on tropical activity for several decades, suggested last December that the 2008 season would be active. Another update will be issued in April and we'll update everyone as soon as it is released.