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National Weather Service predicts above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

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National Weather Service predicts above-normal Atlantic hurricane season
A building in downtown New Orleans is destroyed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida on August 30. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- The National Weather Service's forecasters on Tuesday predicted an above-normal 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, expecting 14 to 21 named storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center said there's a 65% change of a the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. The season begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30.

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Of the 14 to 21 named storms expected, six to 10 could become hurricanes, three to six of which could be Category 3 or higher.

"As we reflect on another potentially busy hurricane season, past storms -- such as Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the New York metro area ten years ago -- remind us that the impact of one storm can be felt for years," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad. "Since Sandy, NOAA's forecasting accuracy has continued to improve, allowing us to better predict the impacts of major hurricanes to lives and livelihoods."

The prediction center said the online La Niña weather pattern is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, causing warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. La Niña also causes weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon, which NOAA says supports stronger African easterly waves, ideal conditions for strong, long-lived hurricanes.

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"Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready," Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. "Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed."

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