NOAA expects busy Atlantic hurricane season in 2017

June 1, 2017 | Environment
Hurricane season: NOAA says 2017 will be a busy year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expecting an above-average hurricane season in 2017.

According to the NOAA forecasters, there's a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only about a 20 percent chance that the season will be below-normal.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30, and NOAA predicts between 11 to 17 tropical storms (winds of 39 mph or higher).

The scientists believe that between 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), and between 2 to 4 may generate in major hurricanes.

"Overall, this outlook reflects the expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near or above-average sea surface temperatures across the hurricane formation region near the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that region," explains Gerry Bell, hurricane forecaster at NOAA.

"We don't forecast how many storms might make landfall because, this far in advance, we really can't predict what atmospheric conditions will be in place to steer the individual storms."

Last year, Hurrican Matthew killed 34 people in the United States, and 551 in the Caribbean. NOAA suggests citizens determine their vulnerabilities, update evacuation and communication plans, restock the emergency supply kits, and make sure the insurance coverage is well adjusted.

The 2017 Atlantic tropical cyclone names are Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.

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