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Hurricane season: Six to 12 hurricanes this season, experts say, adding that Florence will likely be one of them
Atlantic hurricane season: Six to 12 hurricanes this season, experts say, adding that Florence will likely be one of them
Forecasters say the Atlantic hurricane season – which is currently unseasonably early – is still likely to see at least six to 12 hurricanes this year, with Florence likely to be one of them.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the six-month season starts on 1 June and ends 30 November, with an average of 12 named storms, of which six to nine develop into hurricanes, and three to six become major hurricanes (with winds of more than 110mph).
Three of those hurricanes are considered to be at-risk of making landfall on US shores, with Florence, a fast-moving system already off the East Coast of the US, a solid candidate, as well as Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Helene.
The NOAA said there is a 71% chance Florence will become a hurricane before the end of August.
Since 1851, there have been only 10 Atlantic hurricanes with winds of at least 110mph. “Those extreme numbers represent an astronomical level of occurrence,” said Louis Uccellini, head of NOAA’s environmental prediction branch.
An additional 8% chance Florence could hit the mid-Atlantic states. The storm does not yet have the name Okeanos, after the Greek god of the sea.
Hurricane Michael could be a Category 3 hurricane by the time it reaches the United States
The water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean are slightly higher than normal, increasing the intensity of hurricanes, the NOAA said.
The odds of Florence becoming a Category 3 hurricane by the time it hits the US East Coast this autumn are about 30%, the NOAA said.
Odds of it making landfall are 50%.
A Category 4 hurricane makes landfall with winds of at least 157mph.
Six to 12 tropical storms will form this year. Two to four of them will become hurricanes.