NOAA predicts near-normal Atlantic hurricane season

Molly Daly
May 23, 2019 - 5:29 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its forecast for this year's hurricane season. 

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is calling for a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with a likely range of nine to 15 named storms, packing winds of at least 39 miles an hour. Four to eight of those storms could become hurricanes. 

CBS 3 meteorologist Chelsea Ingram said in this case, near-normal means slightly above average.

"An average hurricane season usually consists of about 12 named storms — six of them are hurricanes, and three of them are major, meaning Category 3, 4 or 5," she explained.

A hurricane is classified as major if it has sustained winds of at least 111 miles an hour.

NOAA said the factors that brought them to the near-normal hurricane season prediction were a weak El Niño and warmer-than-average Atlantic surface temperatures. 

In the hurricane season prediction announcement, NOAA stressed the importance of hurricane preparedness. 

"One key thing to remember is that it only takes one storm to cause catastrophic damage," Ingram added.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. 

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Mother Nature, however, did not get the memo. The National Hurricane Center announced Monday that a named storm, Andrea, had formed southwest of Bermuda.