r. Robert Detrick, director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, unveils the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season predictions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2012, with between nine and 15 named storms.
NOAA released its outlook Thursday for the six-month season which begins on June 1.
"NOAA's outlook indicates a near normal season is likely," Dr. Robert Detrick, director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, said.
Between four and eight hurricanes are predicted, with between one and three of those major hurricanes.
"Although this outlook suggests a less active season compared to recent years, the bottom line here is to prepare," Detrick said.
The season got an early start when Tropical Storm Alberto formed last Saturday off South Carolina's coast.
This season marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's catastrophic landfall in South Florida as a Category 5 storm.
Last year marked the sixth consecutive year without the U.S. landfall of a major hurricane, which are classified as Category 3 storms with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher.