Meteorologists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting an active, or "extremely active" 2013 hurricane season.
According to a NOAA announcement issued in May 2013, the agency anticipates there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms; these are storms that sustain winds of 39 miles per hour or higher. NOAA also indicated 7 to 11 of these storms could develop into hurricanes, of which three to six of them would be "major hurricanes", or a CAT 3, 4 or 5, the highest on the hurricane scale.
Category 3, 4, and 5 storms see winds ranging 111 miles per hour, or above.
Normal seasonal averages are 12 named storms, according to the agency, so the Atlantic coast is looking at several more potential storms this 2013 hurricane season. According to NOAA, there are some climate factors, including warmer temperatures, would influence the hurricane activity happening in the Atlantic.
It is important to note, the agency is not saying all these storms will make landfall or trying to predict what regions they could affect. What they are saying is there is potential for a much more active season, some of which those storms could hit land. And if they do, the hurricane strength could be stronger than the norm.
“With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time.” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA acting administrator. “As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it’s important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall.”
Those living in hurricane-prone areas usually prepare for storms, but should be on alert and be prepared.
This announcement comes just in time for National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which runs from May 26 - June 1.
“The start of hurricane season is a reminder that our families, businesses and communities need to be ready for the next big storm,” said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. “Preparedness today can make a big difference down the line, so update your family emergency plan and make sure your emergency kit is stocked. Learn more about how you can prepare for hurricane season at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.”
Hurricane season runs six months. It begins on June 1 and continues until November 30.