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NOAA: Expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA: Expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season

NOAA has finally come out with their prediction for the Atlantic hurricane season, and it's a doosy.  Of course, compared to last season, one would be a "doosy" since no hurricanes hit the U.S. Coast, and the only one to make landfall on North America was a Category 1 storm into Nicaragua -- in November.

Here is the full article from the Associated Press:

MIAMI (AP) - The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will have between 14 to 23 tropical storms, including up to seven major hurricanes, the U.S. government predicted Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that eight to 14 hurricanes would form. Scientists forecast that three to seven of those hurricanes would be major storms that reach Category 3 or higher - meaning they bring sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said in a statement. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."

An average season sees 11 named storms; six of which become hurricanes and two reaching major status.

The forecast is based on the weakening of El Nino. The Pacific Ocean phenomenon creates strong wind shear that weakens Atlantic storms.

No hurricanes hit the United States last year. Hurricane Ida hit Nicaragua as a Category 1 storm last November.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins Tuesday and runs through Nov. 30.

Eastern Pacific gets a pass, sort of

Meanwhile, those same weakening of El Nino conditions and a trend toward cooler La Nina conditions is leading forecasters to predict a quieter season in the eastern Pacific Ocean basin.

Seasonal hurricane forecasters estimate a 70 percent chance of 9 to 15 named storms, which includes 4 to 8 hurricanes, of which 1 to 3 are expected to become major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season produces 15 to 16 named storms, with nine becoming hurricanes and four to five becoming major hurricanes.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through Nov. 30, with peak activity from July through September.