Hurricane center: Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season expected

The National Hurricane Center’s long-range forecast calls for an above-normal season for hurricanes, but only one may reach Category 3 strength.

No major hurricane is expected to make landfall in the United States.

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The outlook came out on Tuesday ahead of the April 1 official start of the season.

A meeting to update the outlook held Friday in Miami.

At the meeting, the hurricane center said the only storm expected to reach Category 3 strength with winds of 111 mph or higher is the storm in the Pacific Ocean that’s likely to track close to Hawaii. The hurricane season begins June 1.

The other 18 named storms are expected to average nine named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes, according to the outlook.

That average number is up from the 6-to-10 range predicted last fall by senior hurricane specialist Eric Blake.

The outlook also calls for a high-activity season of 11-to-17 named storms, 5-to-9 hurricanes and two-to-five major hurricanes, which averages about one more storm, Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

“We have only had one season this century with a year with two storms and those two storms (Maria and Irma) were major hurricanes,” Graham said.

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