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NOAA issues warning to expect more hurricanes this year

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an active Atlantic hurricane season for 2013. NOAA says that several factors appear to be combining to bring about more activity than normal.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the six-month hurricane season, which begins on June 1, has a 70 percent chance of having from 13 to 20 names storms, of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes.

In that number, 3 to 6 will become major storms, of category 3 to 5.

The seasonal average is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

Kathryn Sullivan said on the NOAA website, "With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time. As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it's important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall."

According to NOAA, there are "three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity."

-A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995;

-Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea;

-And El Niņo is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation.

There's no prediction of how many storms will make landfall, although more storms naturally means greater odds of that happening.

The NOAA announcement is intended to serve as a warning for communities along the eastern United States, that they need to take appropriate measures to prepare.

"The start of hurricane season is a reminder that our families, businesses and communities need to be ready for the next big storm," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. "Preparedness today can make a big difference down the line, so update your family emergency plan and make sure your emergency kit is stocked."

Nimmich advises those who live in areas that could be affected by a hurricane to go visit additional preparedness resources on the NOAA website.

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