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Forecasters Predict Above-Normal Hurricane Season

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center says a weak or non-existent El Nino points to a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season.



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It’s been a record-breaking 12 years since a Category 3 or higher hurricane has made landfall in the United States. We’re overdue. Ben Friedman is the acting NOAA administrator.

“NOAA is predicting an above-normal season is likely at about a 45 percent rate. There is also a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.”

The Atlantic hurricane season will produce a range of 11 to 17 tropical storms. Five to nine will become hurricanes, defined as having sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

“And two to four of those hurricanes will become Category 3 strength or higher, defined as having winds of at least 111 miles per hour.”

Beyond major hurricanes, Friedman warns that tropical storms and lesser hurricanes can be just as damaging and deadly. The National Hurricane Center says a new satellite and better forecast tools make it possible to issue warnings at an earlier stage. Hurricane season begins next Thursday.

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