WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Experts at Colorado State University have released their first forecast for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
The report forecasts: 13 named storms-- marginally higher than the average of 12. Of those 13 storms, five are slated to become hurricanes. This is slightly lower than the average of six.
Two of the five storms forecast to becomes hurricanes are expected to reach category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which classifies hurricanes based on wind speeds.
A weak El-Niño is expected to remain, if not strengthen, during the peak of the hurricane season, which could result in cooler ocean waters. However, the report notes “considerable uncertainty” in the sea surface temperatures during that time.
It only takes one storm to leave devastating impacts. In September of 2018, Hurricane Florence caused $24 billion in damage and resulted in 52 deaths in the Carolinas and Virginia.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1, and runs through Nov. 30. To prepare for the upcoming season, be sure to visit the First Alert Hurricane Center for information including evacuation routes, and other considerations for your hurricane preparedness.