(Gray News) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the coming hurricane season will be near normal in the Atlantic.
Meaning, the NOAA is forecasting a possible 9 to 15 named storms, 4 to 8 of which could become hurricanes, and 2 to 4 of which could be major hurricanes.
To be a named storm, winds must reach at least 39 mph; to be a hurricane, winds need to reach at least 74 mph, and to be a major hurricane (Category 3, 4 or 5 storms) winds would hit 111 mph or higher.
A big factor in the prediction is the El Niño weather pattern and the “expected combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity," the news release said.
Although the Atlantic Hurricane season doesn’t begin until June 1, Tropical Storm Andrea formed and dissipated earlier this week, nowhere near land. The season ends on November 30.
There are no tropical storms predicted for the holiday weekend.