MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WFLA) – NOAA scientists are predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year.
NOAA scientists say there is a 70% chance that we will see nine to 15 named storms this hurricane season. Named storms have winds of 39 mph or higher.
NOAA released its initial outlook for the upcoming season on Thursday at Washington National Airport.
The outlook forecasts a 40% chance for a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.
Of the named storms, NOAA predicts four to eight will become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher. That includes two to four major hurricanes. Major hurricanes are category 3, 4 or 5 storms with winds of 111 mph or higher.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.