Hurricane-prediction numbers on rise
Government forecasters said Wednesday that the Atlantic hurricane season, already a busy one, may be the busiest since 2010 and is likely to produce two to five major hurricanes.
“There’s a possibility that the season could be extremely active,” said Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In all, he said, the center was forecasting 14 to 19 named storms, with winds of 39 mph or higher, including five to nine hurricanes.
Major hurricanes are defined as Category 3 and above, with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.
The hurricane season, which runs from June through November, has already been active, with six named tropical storms. The latest, Franklin, reached hurricane strength Wednesday, with winds above 75 mph, before making landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
In May, Bell and his team forecast an above-normal season, with 11 to 17 named storms and as many as four major hurricanes. In a typical year, the Atlantic will have 12 named storms and three major hurricanes.