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WeatherBug: Above-Normal Hurricane Season Expected

2:30 PM EDT, May 29, 2013

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, James West

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The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane will be an active one this year, says a team of WeatherBug forecasters. This year follows an above-average 2012 season.

WeatherBug meteorologists are expecting 14 to 18 named storms to form in the Atlantic Hurricane basin this year. Seven to 10 of these storms will become hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes with winds in excess of 111 mph are possible. The long-term annual average since 1981 is 12 storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Driving this year`s forecast are near-to-slightly above-normal water temperatures throughout the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, and no El Nino or La Nina patterns (neutral pattern expected). The Atlantic basin is in the middle of a multi-decade period of increased hurricane activity.

"We expect sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic to be warmer than average. This is part of a 20-30 year cycle that began in 1995 and has corresponded to increased hurricane activity. Further, neutral El Nino - La Nina Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions - meaning that there is no El Nino to increase wind shear in the tropical Atlantic and decrease the potential for tropical activity - are contributing to the expectation of a more active 2013 season," say WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, Julie Gaddy.

In comparison, the Colorado State University tropical forecast team on April 10 predicted an above normal season with 18 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes this year. The U.S. government`s hurricane forecast issued last week predicts 13 to 20 named storms, seven to 11 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes this year.

The Atlantic Hurricane Basin consists of the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 every year. The historical height of the Atlantic hurricane season runs from mid-August to early October. However, tropical systems can form at any time during the season.

Now is the time for all Americans living near and along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to begin preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Be sure to create and update a hurricane emergency plan and make sure the hurricane emergency kit is stocked with fresh provisions. Click here for more information about preparations you can do today.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter

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