WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 2019 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin starts June 1, and now we have an idea of how many tropical systems forecasters are expecting this year.
On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its outlook, predicting a near-normal season with a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, which have sustained winds at least 39 mph.
Of those, four to eight will become hurricanes and two to four will reach major hurricane status of category 3, 4 or 5.
NOAA said to keep in mind this outlook does not suggest how many of the storms will hit land.
The first named storm, Andrea, of the 2019 season formed on May 20 and brought no threat to the US.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was destructive. The storms caused $50 billion in damages. The 2017 hurricane season set the all-time record for expenses with a staggering $282 billion in damage.
Earlier this year, AccuWeather released its own prediction calling for 12-14 storms, five to seven hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.
Regardless of what forms, everyone living in the Atlantic hurricane basin, especially on the coasts, should have a hurricane plan.
Hurricane season ends November 30.
Check out more information on WWAY Hurricane Center. The StormTrack3 Hurricane Special airs at 7:30 p.m. on WWAY CBS on Friday, May 31.