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Forecasters Predicting An Above-Average Hurricane Season


HURRICANE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO BY NASA SPACE PHOTO

Photo: Getty Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center is predicting an above-average hurricane season this year. Forecasters said there could be between 14 and 21 named storms. Of those, between six and 10 could become hurricanes, with three to six of the hurricanes developing into major Category 3, 4, or 5 storms.

Meteorologists attributed their forecast to several factors, including the ongoing La Niña, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon.

The hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs until November 30.

The prediction of a seventh-straight above-average hurricane season comes following busy seasons in 2020 and 2021, which both had to use Greek letters to name storms after exhausting the list of names from the World Meteorological Organization. This year, the organization has prepared a supplemental list of names in case they finish the original list.

"As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms — such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago — remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. "Since Sandy, NOAA's forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods."