After a 2-month wet season, a chance for more wet weather

Looking over the first two months of the upcoming hurricane season, which runs June 1 through November 30, the National Hurricane Center expects a 15 percent to 25 percent chance of above-normal numbers of tropical cyclones, with a 25 percent to 50 percent chance of an above-normal number of hurricanes and a 10 percent to 20 percent chance of “major hurricanes.”

Conditions that typically allow for a weakened hurricane season, like the warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures and more favorable winds, have prevailed so far.

As of early December, there have been three named tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean. El Niño was back in August. It has faded.

As of early December, there have been seven named tropical storms and two hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. El Niño was back in August. It has faded.

In the Atlantic, where warm water is best suited for hurricanes, there are substantial areas of high and low water temperatures.

A total of 13 tropical storms and four hurricanes have formed this year, according to the International Federation of Meteorological Societies.

As of early December, there are three named tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

Five of the 10 deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history have hit the Caribbean. The only other region where four or more hurricanes have hit the United States is South Florida, which has been racked by Hurricanes Andrew, Jeanne, Frances and Wilma. All but Andrew struck Florida.

Twenty out of the 41 tropical storms named since 1851 have occurred since 2005.

Four Category 5 hurricanes, the most powerful category, have visited the U.S. in the Atlantic basin since 2005. Two, Andrew and Wilma, struck the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Patricia in 2013 would become the sixth Category 5 in the region.

Category 3 storms have not hit the Gulf Coast since 2008. The season’s Category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Wilma, struck the west coast of Florida in 2005.

Five of the most destructive Category 5 hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. have been from the Caribbean basin, in the Florida area or along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

A former NOAA administrator, Bill Read, is warning of coastal communities in the Atlantic and Gulf states to “stop taking any chances” with natural disasters.

“To be politically correct,” he said in his new report titled “Wild Rains, Wild Rivers: Preparing for Extreme Weather and Flooding.” “The world continues to be warmer than it has been in at least the last 800,000 years, and the recent uptick in global mean temperatures is clearly tied to climate change.”

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