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Atlantic Hurricane Season Expected to be Strongest Since 2012

Forecasters Now Expect 70 Percent Chance of 12-17 Named Storms

Posted at 9:30 a.m.

In its updated 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook — released last week — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls for a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the initial outlook issued in May. The season is expected to be the most active since 2012.

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook updated

Image courtesy of NOAA

Forecasters now expect a 70 percent chance of 12-17 named storms of which 5-8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes. The initial outlook called for 10-16 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 1-4 major hurricanes.

The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Get more information on hurricanes and hurricane preparedness.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Begins Today

Posted at 10 a.m.

Today, Wednesday, June 1, is the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center has released its outlook for the 2016 hurricane season. Predicting a near-normal season, the Climate Prediction Center highlights that “near-normal” suggests more hurricane activity than the U.S. has seen in the past few years.

Two tropical cyclones have already formed this year already — Hurricane Alex formed in the Northeastern Atlantic in mid-January and Tropical Storm Bonnie formed off the coast of South Carolina just this past Memorial Day weekend.

So while today “officially” begins the Atlantic Hurricane Season, Alex and Bonnie are small reminders that no matter the season, we have many potential disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.

Take action and be prepared for hurricanes or any emergency situation.

Hurricane preparedness -- getting your supplies

Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week, May 22-28

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

Of all the weather events that impact Virginia the most, hurricanes top the list. Historical storms like Camille, Fran, Floyd, Isabel, Gaston and Irene are a reminder to inland and coastal residents that significant flooding, damages and loss of life can occur in Virginia.

To emphasize the importance of preparing for hurricane season, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has designated this week, May 22-28, as Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week in Virginia.

Hurricane season starts June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.

Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting (PDF report) a near-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin with 12 named storms, five to become hurricanes and two to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

The National Weather Service (NWS) considers hurricanes among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. Even when hurricanes make landfall in other states, they can still cause significant damage and loss of life in Virginia. In fact, some of the worst storms in Virginia’s history were from hurricanes that made landfall in other states. Tropical storms or depressions can be just as damaging or deadly as a hurricane.

Learn more about hurricanes and how you can prepare.

Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 15-21

Posted at 1 p.m.

This week, May 15-21, is Hurricane Preparedness Week. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland, including dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes.

Here’s five things you might not know about hurricanes.

hurricane hazard risks

Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Take time now to prepare.

Learn more about hurricanes and follow the daily safety tip from NOAA at

National Preparedness Month: Hurricanes and Inclement Weather

Posted at 12:30 p.m.

Hurricanes can bring heavy rain, high winds and power outages can occur. Flooding, downed power lines, uprooted trees and flooded vehicles are all possible.

To stay safe, make sure you have an emergency kit prepared and listen to any and all messages from emergency response personnel.

In this video, Sulayman Brown with our emergency management office, discusses hurricane and severe weather safety.

To stay safe from hurricanes and inclement weather, be sure to sign up for severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts (

Learn more about preparing for hurricanes, as well as all hazards, on our emergency information Web page.