FIRST ALERT: NOAA releases updated hurricane season outlook


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has released its updated 2017 hurricane season outlook and is anticipating a slightly above normal hurricane season.

The latest outlook, released today, calls for 11-17 named storms. Of those, NOAA is forecasting 5-9 to become hurricanes, and 2-4 to become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

In an average year, 12 named storms develop, with 6 becoming hurricanes, and 2 becoming major hurricanes.

It is extremely important to note that the outlook is only for the number of storms that may develop and gives no indication on the number of storms that may impact the United States Coastline.

Very active hurricane seasons can happen without a single US landfall. On the other hand, a very quiet year can still have major impacts. For example, the 1992 hurricane season produced only six named storms. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane.

In contrast, the 2010 season was extremely active with a total of 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes. Despite such an active season, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States that year.

In 2016, five named storms impacted the Southeast U.S. coast. Tropical Storm Alex, Tropical Storm Bonnie, and Tropical Storm Colin all impacted the Carolinas early in the 2016 hurricane season with bouts of heavy rain and rough surf. Hurricane Hermine made landfall on the Florida panhandle and traveled up the coast as tropical storm with flooding rain and strong winds. Of course, the most devastating hit was from Hurricane Matthew on October 8th.

The bottom line is to prepare at the beginning of each hurricane season as if this is the year that you will be hit.

WMBF News is hosting a Hurricane Expo on June 1 at Ripley’s Aquarium to make sure you are ready for hurricane season. Find out more about this exciting event here.

You can track storms, see the latest hurricane news, and find important links to make sure you’re prepared for the worst on our Hurricane Tracker page.

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