Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Underway; Forecasters Predict Active Pattern

HYANNIS – Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, which officially begins on Friday.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75 percent of near- or above-normal activity with 10 to 16 named storms expected.

“Of those, five to nine will become hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 mph, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes reaching Category 3 strength or higher,” said Neil Jacobs, NOAA’s assistant secretary of commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction.

Category 3 hurricanes are characterized by having winds of 111 mph.

“These numbers are based on probabilities of a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, 35 percent chance of an above normal season and 25 percent chance of below normal activity,” Jacobs said.

The possibility of a weak El Nino and near-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea are two of the factors driving the season outlook.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through the end of November.

The federal government is urging the public to be prepared before storms arrive.

Daniel Kaniewski, the acting deputy administrator for FEMA, says the public can get started by downloading the FEMA app.

“It provides checklists, maps of shelters, weather alerts, as well as emergency tip,” he said.

Kaniewski said families should create a communications and evacuation plan.

“Your family might not be together disaster strikes so plan ahead for how you will contact one another and reconnect following a disaster,” Kaniewski.

Other recommendations include double-checking insurance policies and having financial stability to cover repair costs before possible FEMA and insurance reimbursements.

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