Near normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVUE) - The predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, call for a return of El Nino conditions keeping Atlantic hurricanes at a minimum.

The organization expects 8 - 13 named storms with three to six hurricanes and one to two of those strengthening to  major hurricanes category three or higher.  The 30-year average is 12 named storms with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

El Nino creates strong winds across the tropical Atlantic making it more difficult for storms to form.  The winds shear off thunderstorm tops reducing the ability for the tropical waves to organize to a circulation meeting the 39 miles per hour threshold for a named tropical storm.

As the start of hurricane season approaches on June first it is still important to remember that even with predictions calling for a less active season it only takes one storm to make a major impact.

In 1992 Hurricane Andrew was the first storm of season eventually being classified as a category five storm causing an estimated $1 billion in damage in Louisiana and $25 billion in Florida.  The storm caused an additional $0.75 billion in damages to the Bahamas and offshore oil interests.

The 1992 season provides the ultimate example of how a slow season may still prove to be deadly and costly and why residents in storm prone areas must remain vigilant even though storm numbers are predicted to be lower.

It is important to have a storm plan ready to protect life and property.

FOX 8's meteorologists will go over some of the key factors in this season's forecasting and important information you need to know before a storm threatens in Weathering the Storm Monday June 2 at 6 p.m. following FOX 8 News at 5.

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