Forecasters Predict “Near-Normal” Hurricane Season
The federal government’s latest forecast predicts a near-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin despite the presence of a weak El Niño, anticipating four to eight hurricanes. A normal season can still be disastrous, since “it only takes one,” warns Neil Jacobs, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which released the forecast.
Overall, NOAA says nine to 15 named storms will develop. This number includes tropical storms, which have wind speeds of 39 mph or higher and become a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph. Of the four to eight predicted hurricanes, two to four could be major, with wind speeds of 111 mph or higher. The season officially begins on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.