Hurricane-pre­dic­tion num­bers on rise

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

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.

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