MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - NOAA has just released its first outlook for the number of tropical storms and hurricanes expected this year. They are once again forecasting an active to extremely active season.
In an average year there are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. This year, NOAA predicts there is a 70 percent chance of 13 to 20 names storms, with winds over 39 miles per hour, of which, seven to 11 could become hurricanes, with winds over 74 mph. Of those, three to six are predicted to be major hurricanes: Category 3, 4, or 5, with winds over 111 mph.
"With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time." said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA acting administrator. "As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it's important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall."
WMBF News Chief Meteorologist Jamie Arnold says that while the forecast is for a lot of storms, the most important thing to remember is that it does not matter how many storms there are, it only matters where they go.
At this point, there is virtually no skill in predicting how many storms will hit land and where they might go, Jamie says. The bottom line is that the area is likely to have a busy season ahead, and now is the time for residents to review their personal hurricane plan.
For more information on NOAA's hurricane season prediction, head to: