Hurricane season officially starts today; Normal to above-average season predicted

Floridians taking hurricane prep more seriously, AAA says

Floridians taking hurricane prep more seriously, AAA says

June 1 is the official beginning of the Hurricane season in the Atlantic, however Storm Alberta brought flooding and mudslides to the Florida Panhandle and the southeast.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms this year, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes.

Scientists are predicting this year's hurricane season may be the deadliest yet, beating last year's 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. Though hurricane season peaks between mid-August and October, forecasters warn tropical cyclones can form at any time.

"If the power is out, ATMs aren't going to work and you are going to need cash", said Kelly.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30. Last year's triple threat of Harvey, Irma, and Maria remains a strong reminder of how important it is to prepare. In its initial outlook, the university predicted the season could generate 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three majors.

As meteorologists observe more storms and collect data from them, they are able to better the forces that strengthen hurricanes and tweak forecast models to account for those factors.

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A closely watched hurricane forecast provided some good news, despite last week's premature start to hurricane season. There have been many seasons with above-average number storms, including 2004, when hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne slammed Florida.

Hurricane season officially starts today, June 1, and with it comes constant checking of the weather and the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when storm "developments" start taking shape.

Hurricane Irma provided a valuable reminder of often-repeated advice from the National Hurricane Center: "Don't focus on the skinny black line" at the center of the the agency's forecast hurricane track. A major storm is defined as a Category 3 or higher, meaning wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour. High pressure churns up the ocean, boosting evaporation and cooling the water.

In Florida, 81 percent of residents say they are preparing for hurricane season in advanced fashion this year, according to travel club AAA - that's a 23 percent increase from two years ago before hurricanes Matthew and Irma hit the state in back-to-back years.

"We have decreased our forecast and now believe that 2018 will have approximately average activity", the team said. "Enough prescription medications to get through the event", Wool said. First, having a storm develop during May is not a precursor to an active season. "Now is the time to check with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered before the busy storm season begins".

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