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Hurricane Season Begins
Continues Through Nov. 30


Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the North Central Atlantic Ocean on April 21 this year, well before the official beginning of the hurricane season. It was only the second one ever observed in the month of April during the satellite era. (Photo: NASA/NOAA)

June 1st marked the official start of the six-month period when 97 percent of all Atlantic tropical cyclones/hurricanes occur - thus earning it the designation of hurricane season.

According to the Farmers' Almanac, mid-August is when activity really picks up, peaking sometime in mid-September. But every season is different as shown this year when the first tropical storm of 2017, Arlene, made a rare appearance in April. It thankfully failed to make landfall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season this year. According to the agency, an average season sees 12 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher) of which six become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), and three of those reach "major" status (winds of 111 mph or higher that are labeled category 3, 4 or 5).

NOAA says that there is a 70 percent chance of up to 17 named storms this year, with as many as nine becoming hurricanes and two to four growing into major ones.

"The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Niño, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

The Farmers' Almanac's forecast is warning of a tropical storm or hurricane along the Atlantic coast toward the end of September.

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February 16, 2019, 12:39 pm PST

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