NOAA predicts 6 to 10 hurricanes in Atlantic this season

Posted May 21, 2020 3:09 p.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2020 4:02 p.m. EDT

An image created by two NASA satellite images of Tropical Storm Leslie and Hurricane Michael spinning in the Atlantic Ocean in September 2018. This year’s Atlantic hurricane season should be “near normal,” government forecasters announced on May 23, 2019, with the likelihood of nine to 15 named storms, and two to four major Category 3 hurricanes with winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. (NASA/Goddard via The New York Times) -- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY --

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting six to 10 hurricanes for the season in the Atlantic ocean. A hurricane has winds 74 miles per hour or higher.

It also is predicting a range of 13 to 19 named storms -- which is storms with winds 39 miles per hour or higher.

Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30. There's a 60% chance that this season the Atlantic will have an "above normal" hurricane activity, according to NOAA.

This hurricane season is predicted to have more storms than usual, NOAA says

The first named storm of the season, Arthur, developed into a Tropical Storm and brought heavy winds and rain to the North Carolina coast. Arthur's winds were around 40 to 50 miles per hour.

The storm's impacts included strong rip currents and a localized storm surge up to 2 feet. Much of the Outer Banks saw up to 4 inches of rain, while some areas saw more. It moved away from North Carolina on May 18.

An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six of those become hurricanes, and an average of three of those hurricanes meet "major status." Categories Three, Four and Five hurricanes are considered major.

Category Three hurricanes have winds of at least 111 miles per hour, Category Four hurricanes have winds between 130 and 156 miles per hour and Category Five has winds that exceed 157 miles per hour.

But, a storm does not have to reach a "major" category for it to be deadly. For example, Category One hurricanes Irene and Sandy were destructive and able to kill many people.

"Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season," a media release from NOAA said. "Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995."

Acting Deputy Administrator for Resilience at FEMA Carlos Castillo said its best to have an emergency plan. If you have one already, adjust it for the conditions of COVID-19 and social distancing measures.

“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more," Castillo said.

Possible names given to storms in Atlantic, 2020

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