Busy hurricane season predicted

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 11, 2013

If hurricane season predictions are any inclination of how the 2013 Atlantic season will be, local residents should prepare now.

Hurricane predictors are forecasting an above-average season.

Forecasters are calling for 18 tropical storms, with nine of those being hurricanes.

Typically, there are 12 tropical storms, with seven of them being hurricanes.

Tropical storms are categorized as storms with 39 mph winds, and it becomes a hurricane when it reaches 74 mph.

Forecasters Philip Klotzbach and William Gray of Colorado State University released their predictions early Wednesday morning.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months, and it appears that the chance of an El Nino event this summer and fall are unlikely,” Klotzbach said.

In 2012, there were 19 storms, including 10 hurricanes.

Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast in October, and killed dozens and caused billions of dollars in damage.

This year, forecasters predict four major hurricanes, with winds of 111 mph or more.

Klotzbach and Gray predict there is a 72 percent chance of at least one major hurricane hitting the entire U.S. coastline. The average for last century was 52 percent.

The Weather Channel made a similar prediction earlier this week calling for 16 named storms, with nine hurricanes and five of those being major hurricanes.

NOAA will release its forecast in May.