Batten down the hatches: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an "active to extremely active" hurricane season in 2010.
NOAA's seasonal outlook was released Thursday, and it looks somewhat worrisome. It says there's a 70 percent probability of 8 to 14 hurricanes, with 3 to 7 of them being major, exceeding seasonal averages of six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
They're also expecting 14 to 23 named storms, well above the average of 11.
The six-month hurricane season begins June 1.
"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an NOAA administrator, in a statement. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."
According to the NOAA, warm Atlantic water coupled with weaker wind shears could contribute to an overactive storm season. Strong winds helped keep most storms at bay during the quiet 2009 hurricane season, according to the NOAA.
May 23 to 29 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and FEMA officials said that while they're preparing for the worst, but they also want residents in South Florida and beyond to prepare themselves.
"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready."