Yikes! With the Atlantic hurricane season reaching its peak, the worst is yet to come.
The Weather Channel predicted that in 2017, the number of named storms would reach 15. Of those 15, eight are forecasted to become actual hurricanes; of those eight, three are expected to become at least a Category 3 storm or higher.
According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a Category 3 storm is considered a major storm and has winds of 111 to 129 miles per hour. To give you an idea its destructive capabilities, the second time Hurricane Katrina hit land in 2005, it was a Cateogry 3 storm.
Those numbers — 15, eight, and three — are all higher than predictions based off the 30-year average, which looks at storms in the Atlantic Basin from 1981 to 2010. The latter expects 12 named storms and six hurricanes — two of which would reach a Category 3 or higher.
The Weather Channel's list is almost identical to new data put forth by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. The CSU numbers are 16 named storms and eight hurricanes, with three of those expected to become at least a Category 3 storm.
So far, five named storms — Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, and Emily — have already been recorded. That means that by the most conservative estimate of the three, we have at least another seven storms. Fun stuff, right?
CSU cites the warmer-than-average temperatures of Atlantic waters for the possibility or more hurricanes. However, they maintain that there are dozens of factors that affect hurricane formation, so their predictions could be off.
The Weather Channel cautions that there is no correlation between the increase in number of predicted hurricanes and whether those storms hit the U.S., so they implore everyone to be prepared in case a storm does make landfall.
To learn more about hurricane preparation, you can visit the National Hurricane Center's website.