The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a “near-normal” hurricane season this year.
NOAA’s 2019 hurricane season outlook, released Thursday, predicts anywhere from 9 to 15 named storms -- 4 to 8 of which could become hurricanes, and 2 to 4 of which could become major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5).
The average number of named storms is 12 per year, which usually includes about 3 major hurricanes.
Several factors go into the forecast. NOAA says the El Niño effect will help suppress hurricane activity this year, but that warmer-than-average sea temperatures will encourage it.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1st -- and lasts through November 30. The first named storm, Andrea, formed earlier this week near Bermuda.
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