The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1, concluding on Nov. 30. On both coasts, most of the intense storms hit during peak season between August and October.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the forecast for the 2019 season on May 23, predicting the season would be near normal (between 10 and 15 tropical storms and between four and nine hurricanes). They speculate there is a 30-percent chance of an above-normal season (between 12 and 28 tropical storms and between seven and 15 hurricanes) and 30-percent chance of a below-normal season (between four and nine tropical storms and two to four hurricanes).
Colorado State University scientists forecast 2019 will have 13 named storms in the Atlantic Ocean, including five becoming hurricanes and two of those reaching at least a Category 3 status. NOAA estimates a 70-percent chance of between nine and 15 named storms, of which four to eight potentially become hurricanes and two to four are major hurricanes.
How Hurricanes Get Their Names
Initially, hurricanes were named to honor a feast day for a Catholic saint. By the 1950s, the process changed in the United States and hurricanes were assigned female names in alphabetical order. It wasn’t until 1978 this practice was abandoned. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has a list of alphabetical storm names that repeats on a six-year cycle. The names are to be basic and reflect the languages spoken by those in areas most affected: English, Spanish, Dutch and French.
Good news though, if a storm was so destructive that the WMO deems one name may be perceived as insensitive, the name will be removed from the list, such as: Katrina, Ike, Hattie or Opal.
See Live Science’s Hurricane Season 2019: How Long it Lasts and What to Expect for more information.