Hurricane season begins today

NOAA graphic.

NOAA graphic.

Today marks the official beginning of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which NOAA forecasters predict near- or above-normal activity.

NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 miles per hour or higher), according to an outlook issued last week.

Of those storms, the forecasters say five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).

An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Some Atlantic basin seasons feature below average activity but still result in a devastating storm, like Hurricane Andrew in 1992, while others like 2010 — third most active season on record — did not feature a hurricane making landfall.

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The 2018 Atlantic basin hurricane season will end on November 30. The upcoming names include Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, and Helene.

The season peaks in September, and 80 percent of named storms between 1981 and 2010 have formed between August and October.

FEMA offers the following easy, low-cost steps to get prepared now:

  • Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens.
  • Know your evacuation route.
  • Tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts.
  • Listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.

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