Hurricane season officially begins next Saturday, June 1st. NOAA says it will likely be a busy one.

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Forecasters are predicting a 70 percent chance there will be 13 to 20 named storms (39 mph + winds), with 7 to 11 potentially  becoming hurricanes (winds of 74 mph +), and 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; 111 mph + winds). The seasonal average is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,”
- Gerry Bell, Ph.D.,

Expert cite three factors that they feel strongly influence weather in the Atlantic Basin and are conducive to 2013 being an unusually active hurricane season.

#1: A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995.
#2: Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
#3: El Niño is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane
National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26th - June 1st.