ORLANDO, Fla. - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expecting a near- or above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2018, meaning there could be up to nine hurricanes this year.
The NOAA predictions were detailed during a news conference Thursday morning.
NOAA Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction Neil Jacobs said scientists expect 10 to 16 named storms, five to nine of which are expected to become hurricanes. Of the hurricanes that could form this season, one to four are expected to be major storms with Category-3 strength.
“While we cannot prevent the storms themselves, we can take action to better prepare for such events and the impact they have on communities,” Jacobs said.
An average hurricane season sees 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, three of which are major, NOAA officials said.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
Gerry Bell, lead hurricane season forecaster with the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, said predictions are generally about 70 percent accurate, but it's impossible to say exactly how many storms there will be or where they will make landfall.
“Regardless of the seasonal hurricane prediction, Atlantic and Gulf Coast residents need to prepare every year for the Atlantic hurricane season," Bell said.
Bell said preparedness is especially key this year because many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Daniel Kaniewski, Federal Emergency Management Agency acting deputy administrator, recommends that anyone who is in an area that could be impacted by a hurricane download the FEMA app, create plans for themselves and their families, gather supplies, check insurance policies and financially prepare for whatever storm could strike.
For more information on how to prepare and what to expect when storm season begins, go to ClickOrlando.com/hurricane.
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