Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins | NBC 6 South Florida

Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

Above average forecast with three to six major hurricanes expected

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images

    Hurricane season 2011 kicked off Wednesday, and it's expected to be an active one.

    Forecasters with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are expecting three to six major hurricanes in what's expected to be an above-average season.

    NOAA's Hurricane Predictions 2011

    [MI] NOAA's Hurricane Predictions 2011
    The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration released its forecast for the 2011 season Thursday. Scientists say as many as 18 named tropical storms may develop. Six to 10 of those could strengthen into hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 mph. Three to six could become major hurricanes, with maximum winds of 111 mph and up. (Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012)

    NOAA is calling for 12-18 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes. While named storms require winds greater than 39 mph, hurricanes are anything 74 mph or greater. Major hurricanes require winds of 111 mph or greater.

    Historically, the average number of named storms is 11, the average number of hurricanes is 6, and the average number of major hurricanes is 2. Categories 3, 4 and 5 are major hurricanes.

    The above average forecast for 2011 is due to several factors, including warmer than average sea surface temperatures and La Nina conditions for at least the start of the season.

    It is not possible to predict where tropical storms and hurricanes will make landfall before they form.  The storm path is affected by the specific weather pattern during the time of activity.

    Best Deals on Hurricane Supplies

    [MI] Best Deals on Hurricane Supplies
    With hurricane season upon us, NBC Miami wanted to know the best place to buy essential items. (Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012)

    Hurricane season runs from June 1and continues until November 30.

    Tune in to NBC Miami at 7 p.m.Wednesday for a Hurricane Special.

    Here are the 2011 Atlantic storm names:

    Arlene
    Bret
    Cindy
    Don
    Emily
    Franklin
    Gert
    Harvey
    Irene
    Jose
    Katia
    Lee
    Maria
    Nate
    Ophelia
    Philippe
    Rina
    Sean
    Tammy
    Vince
    Whitney

    If there are more tropical storms than names in this list, additional storms will be named from the Greek Alphabet.

    For more on NOAA's 2011 outlook, click here.