Downed tree in hurricane

A downed palm tree in Brownsville, Texas, shows the strength of Hurricane Dolly in July 2008. Photo courtesy FEMA/Jacinta Quesad

Get ready to batten down the hatches! The Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1, is expected to be above normal. That means residents along the East and Gulf coasts could see a lot of storms coming their way.

According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center there’s a high likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, which have winds of 39 mph or higher. As many as nine of those could become hurricanes, and up to four could become major hurricanes.

An average season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, according to NOAA. So this year’s prediction is definitely higher. The 2016 season was also above normal, with seven hurricanes, four of which were major. Residents of North Carolina and other East Coast states will remember Hurricane Matthew in September, which caused 34 deaths and $10 billion in damage in the U.S. alone.

To continue reading this post, visit APHA’s Get Ready Blog.