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National Weather Service Predicts 10 to 16 Named Storms in 2016

Hurricane Irene
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Flickr Creative Commons
An image of Hurricane Irene, which hit parts of the eastern United States in August 2011.

Forecasters are predicting an Atlantic hurricane season that may include 10 to 16 named storms this year, according to annual predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released Friday.

Of those storms, 4 to 8 could become hurricanes.

NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan said this level of storm activity is "near normal."

"Near normal may sound sort of encouraging, relaxed, things are okay," she said. "But I want to emphasize that the predicted level of activity compared to the past three years that we’ve experienced actually suggests we could be in for more activity than we’ve seen in recent years."

There is uncertainty about whether the high activity era of Atlantic hurricanes, which began in 1995, has ended, according to Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Officials with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center also say El Niño is dissipating and forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance that La Niña – which favors more hurricane activity – will be present during the peak months of hurricane season, August through October.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Storms affecting North Carolina from 2006 to 2016:

According to the State Climate Office, 15 tropical cyclones have affected North Carolina in the last decade, including ones to hit the state directly, as well as storm that made landfall elsewhere and moved interior.

2013 Tropical Storm Andrea    

2012 Tropical Storm Beryl     

2012 Tropical Storm Alberto

2011 Tropical Storm Lee

2011 Category 3 Hurricane Irene

2010 Category 4 Hurricane Earl

2009 Tropical Depression One

2008 Category 1 Hurricane Hanna

2008 Tropical Storm Fay

2008 Tropical Storm Cristobal

2007 Tropical Storm Barry

2007 Subtropical Storm Andrea

2006 Category 1 Hurricane Ernesto

2006 Tropical Storm Beryl

2006 Tropical Storm Alberto


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