(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- The National Weather Service is predicting between seven and 10 hurricanes -- three to five of which at category three or higher -- for the 2011 season.
Lead Hurricane Forecaster Dr. Jerry Bell says this will be the 12th above-normal season in 17 years. “We are now entering the peak months of what is expected to be an active season, and now is the time that people really need to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place because we’re expecting the activity to start picking up even more than it already has,” said Dr. Bell in a conference call Thursday.
The numbers are up slightly from the May 2011 outlook that predicted 12 to 18 storms, with three to six having the potential to become major hurricanes during the season which spans from June to November. It should be noted that the storms can be unpredictable, and hurricanes don't always make landfall.
Tropical storm Emily is expected to remain a tropical storm as it moves between Hispaniola and Cuba, across the western Bahamas and towards eastern Florida, but Bell warned the storm could develop into a hurricane by Monday morning.
“After it approaches near Florida, the hurricane is indicating that by Monday morning it could become a hurricane and then it would re-curve out to sea,” Bell said. “Right now their track has it barely skirting the eastern north Carolina coast, so the potential for that and then back out to sea.”
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