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Weather forecasters predict up to 15 major storms this hurricane season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is predicting up to 15 major storms this hurricane season, which is roughly a normal number.
The agency's Climate Prediction Center released its forecast Thursday predicting between nine and 15 "named storms," or storms with winds more than 39 miles per hour.
Among those, four to eight could become hurricanes, with winds of at least 74 mph, including a forecast of two to four major hurricanes.
An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
"With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
"Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities."
NOAA warned in its forecast that although it expects a normal hurricane season, just one can be dangerous.
"Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public," said Daniel Kaniewski, deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare.