Predicted ‘above-normal’ hurricane season opened June 1

| 6/2/2011

Deadly tornadoes pounded parts of the country during the month of May. However, there is a new threat: hurricanes. The six-month hurricane season opened on Wednesday, June 1.

In its recent 2011 hurricane outlook released in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting “12 to 18 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes.” Major hurricanes are classified as Category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher.

According to the NOAA report, this hurricane season calls for a “65 percent chance of above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10 percent chance of a below normal season.”

The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2010, there were 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes and five major hurricanes.

In a recent Land Line web poll, drivers were asked “what kind of natural event scares you the most?” More than 40 percent of those who responded stated that their worst fear is being caught in a hurricane or tornado.

There have been five EF5 tornadoes that have killed more than 500 people since January 2011. According to the National Weather Service, there were no EF5 tornadoes and 45 deaths reported in all of 2010.