Predictions point towards active hurricane season

Horry County, SC - By Laura Thomas - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane season starts June 1 and forecasters are predicting a busy season.

Klotzbach and Gray released the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Wednesday and predicted 15 named storms and eight hurricanes this year. Four of the storms, they believe, will be major.

In an average year, the duo would typically predict 9.6 named storms and 5.9 hurricanes, 2.3 of which would be major. Therefore, they say this hurricane season will be significantly more active.

Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster says they are planning just like every year, but he does say it serves as a strong reminder that everyone should be prepared if a hurricane were to head towards the Carolinas.

"It does challenge us more to make sure we get the word out, [that] people understand about getting prepared now, not waiting until the storm is named," explained Webster. "Let's get it done now while we've got time."

The hurricane season prediction from Colorado State is one that Horry County Emergency Planner Alicia Bastian says the agency studies. Bastian also adds that NOAA predictions for the season usually come out in May.

"We are a little more concerned this year because the El Nino effect is dissipating in the Pacific, so that has made a lot of forecasters think it will be an above average season," explained Bastian. "We take everything into account. Our big motto is that it only takes one."

Horry County officials spent last week at a national conference in Orlando, learning the latest on storm predictions and technology. Emergency planners also say that with such an active hurricane season less than two months away, it's time to prepare.

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