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 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.
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:
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.