NOAA predicts slow Atlantic hurricane season

Huge waves pound the Virginia Beach Oceanfront during Hurricane Sandy. (Facebook/Marc Bianchini)
Huge waves pound the Virginia Beach Oceanfront during Hurricane Sandy. (Facebook/Marc Bianchini)

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal forecasters are predicting a slower than usual hurricane season this year because of an expected El Nino system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in New York City on Thursday that the periodic Pacific warming characteristic of El Ni±o will likely reduce the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Cooler temperatures on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean compared with recent years will also lower the probability of hurricane formation.

Special Coverage: WAVY.com Hurricane Ready Guide

Officials expect about eight to 13 named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. Just one or two major hurricanes with winds over 110 miles per hour are forecast.

Officials warned it takes only one storm to wreak havoc and urged Americans to be prepared.

A new mapping tool will keep coastal residents updated on the storm surge threat in their communities.

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