The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a more active hurricane season than initially expected. The announcement comes as Florida prepares for the peak months of the season – August through October.
NOAA scientists say this year could be the most active season since 2010, which saw 12 hurricanes. The agency is now expecting more named storms, and stronger storms than they predicted earlier this summer.
Gerry Bell of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says current wind conditions and warmer than average waters could mean “14 to 19 named storms, of which we expect five to nine to become hurricanes, and two to five of those to become major hurricanes. These ranges include the six Atlantic named storms to date,” Bell said.
NOAA says residents on both the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts should prepare for a major storm regardless of predictions.
Bell says the prediction doesn't weigh in on where or if the storms could make landfall.
"Again we don't predict with this outlook where storms are going to strike or exactly where they're going to track. So there's no way to say at this whether storms are going to track closer towards the Atlantic coast, or move through the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico," Bell said. "We just don't have that capability."
But Bell says a more active season generally means more storms will make landfall.
Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30th.