9-15 named storms expected in 2019 hurricane season, NOAA predicts

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The 2019 hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean starts June 1, and now we have an idea of how many major hurricanes 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 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.

Two of the worst storms, Michael and Florence, had their names retired.

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 in place.

SEE ALSO: Big Weather's hurricane preparedness kit

A basic emergency supply kit includes water, food, battery-powered or hand crank radio, flash light and extra batteries and a first aid kit.

SEE ALSO: Get more tips on what do to before hurricane season starts

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

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