Get your hurricane preparedness kits ready, folks. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the region could see more than 20 tropical storms and hurricanes this season.
Officials say it’s shaping up to be an “above-normal season,” and it could be the most active since 2010.
“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in a news release.
“The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May,” he added.
Bell said warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic also indicate the possibility of an active season.
According to the release, there’s a 60 percent chance that residents will see an above-normal season with 14 to 19 tropical storms and five to nine hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, between two and five are predicted to be major.
Officials say during the first nine weeks of the season there have been six tropical storms – which is already half the number of storms normally seen in an “average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August.”
Typically, the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1-November 30, will produces 12 tropical storms. Six of those storms go on to become hurricanes, with three reaching major hurricane status.
“[The] updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long in a news release. “As we enter the height of hurricane season, it’s important for everyone to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update their insurance and have a preparedness plan.”
The storm projection is based on atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the most recent model predictions and pre-and early-season storm activity.
NOAA officials urge Hampton Roads residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place.
Get the latest forecast from NOAA online.
This article was published in partnership with WYDaily’s sister publication, Southside Daily.