Forecasts call for an average to above average hurricane season

Waves batter the shoreline in Buxton on North Carolina's Hatteras Island during high tide on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. The Eastern Seaboard dodged the full fury of Hurricane Joaquin, which veered out to sea. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hurricane forecasts call for an average to above average season.

Seasonal hurricane forecasts are released each year by researchers at Colorado State, N.C. State and NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Although each differs slightly, they all call for an average to above average hurricane season.

N.C. State predicts 15 to 18 named tropical systems, while Colorado State predicts 13. The NOAA forecast calls for 10 to 16 named storms, compared to our average of 12.

Of those named storms, N.C. State expects eight to 11 storms to strengthen into hurricanes, while Colorado State expects six and NOAA predicts a range of four to eight.

The reason for the increased tropical activity: the development of cooler than normal ocean temperatures along the equator in the Pacific Ocean, called La Nina.

But regardless of the forecast, meteorologists and local emergency managers are urging you to get prepared now.

“Unfortunately, it only takes that one storm to hit your community for it to be a bad year,” says Dan Brown, a senior hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center. “So the key message is be hurricane ready. Be hurricane strong. Take those precautions.”

Emergency managers recommend assembling a disaster supply kit with enough water, non-perishable food and medications to last each member of your family three to seven days, a first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, and an NOAA weather radio.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

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