MIAMI – Top federal weather forecasters on Thursday told Floridians to brace for an active Atlantic hurricane season.
Their prediction calls for considerable activity – 12 to 16 named storms are likely, including six to nine hurricanes, as many as five of which could be intensely powerful. An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes, two of which reach major status.
“It may very well be a busy season,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad Lautenbacher, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Everyone needs to have a plan.”
Research by Gerry Bell, lead Atlantic hurricane forecaster for NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, found there is a 65 percent probability of above-average activity for the six-month hurricane season that begins June 1. Other probabilities: 25 percent for a near-normal season and 10 percent for below-normal activity.
Last year, there were 15 named storms and six hurricanes, two of which were major. The government predicted 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.