MIAMI (AP/NBC News) – U.S. government forecasters are expecting an active Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast released Thursday calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes. One to four hurricanes could be "major" with sustained winds of at least 111 mph (178 kph).
If that forecast holds, it would make for a near-normal or above-normal season. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
"The outlooks suggests that we will experience a near or above normal hurricane season this year," says NOAA Deputy Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs.
NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was: A trio of devastating hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria – ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands. Overall, last year saw 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1.
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