East coast residents still reeling from Hurricane Sandy may shudder at the predictions for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.
A warmer Atlantic Ocean is expected to bring a far more active hurricane season than average this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated on Thursday.
In the possibly "extremely active" season, the NOAA says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms, well above the average of 12 named storms in a hurricane season.
7 to 11 of those storms could become hurricanes, they predict, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes. The seasonal average is 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,” Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. “These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive wind patterns coming from Africa."
The 6-month hurricane season for the Atlantic begins June 1.