Forecasters predict "active" hurricane season

Cristina Cross
May 28, 2018

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, just released their outlook for the upcoming hurricane season.

Today (May 24), experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued their forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and lasts until November 30. A major hurricane occurs when the wind speeds reach 111 miles per hour or more.

If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season. Of those, 10 reached hurricane strength and six developed into major hurricanes; and two of the year's most powerful storms became the first major hurricanes to strike the continental 12 years, according to the NOAA account.

"NOAA's observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world's best regional and global weather models", Dr. Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, said in the NOAA's report.

The NOAA prediction promises somewhat of a respite this year, compared with the "furious season" seen in 2017 - the most active season since 2005, and the seventh most active season on record, NOAA reported in its 2017 hurricane season wrap-up.

The Atlantic hurricane season kicks off June 1.

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Fewer storms are expected this year partly because of "the possibility of a weak El Nino developing", which could reduce the number of storms later in the season, NOAA said.

Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39 miles per hour or above, and hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

Weeks later Hurricane Irma hit, killing a total of 134 people in its wake as it ripped through Florida, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other a Caribbean islands with wind speeds of 134mph. In an average season, there are about 11 storms.

Ways to prepare include stocking up on a few days' worth of food and water, and making a plan in case an evacuation is ordered, experts say. Early predictions from NOAA forecasters are pointing to a high probability of another active campaign in the Atlantic Basin. Of these, one to four are predicted to become major hurricanes. A storm only gets a name when the sustained wind speeds reach 39 miles per hour, a NOAA spokesperson told Newsweek.

The tropical cyclone names are as follows: Alberto Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, William.

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