PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Thursday marks the start of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Are you prepared?
Although all is quiet now in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are calling for an above-average season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes. Two to four of those hurricanes could be a Category 3 or higher.
The numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare preseason storm that formed in April.
An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
"While I hope this seasonal hurricane outlook gets our attention, we need to remember that it is not all about the numbers," Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said. "It only takes one hurricane over our community to make for a bad year. South Florida residents need to be prepared regardless of what the seasonal outlook says. Also, these outlooks don't tell us where or when the hurricanes will be. It would be wise for us to prepare for this and every hurricane season."
Mayfield is the former director of the National Hurricane Center.
Local 10 News is committed to providing daily tropical updates in the first 10 minutes of every newscast throughout the season, which runs until Nov. 30.
Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm.