NOAA Hurricane Forecast Predicts Active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season [Video]

Elaine Radford

The NOAA hurricane forecast for the 2013 hurricane season has been issued. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it could be another extremely active year. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, so the time to get informed and stock up on supplies could be right now.

According to the NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, there's a 70 percent chance of between 13 and 20 named storms. The storms receive official names once they reach tropical storm strength with sustained winds of over 39 miles per hour.

However, seven to 11 of the storms are predicted to become hurricane strength with sustained winds of over 74 mph -- and three to six of those will become major Category 3, 4, or even 5 hurricanes with sustained winds over 111 mph.

To give you a rough idea of their power, killer storm Hurricane Katrina was Cat 3 when it struck New Orleans in 2005, flooding 80 percent of the city and leaving a still-disputed number of people dead.

Last year's Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly Atlantic hurricane in human history, was only a Cat 2 when it struck the northeast coast, but the size of the so-called superstorm made it the largest Atlantic hurricane on record at an astounding 1,100 miles in diameter.

The NOAA warned that this year will be well above average for hurricane activity for three main reasons:

*We entered a cycle of naturally high Atlantic hurricane activity in 1995, a cycle that continues to this day.

*Warmer-than-average ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and the Caribbean allow bigger, more powerful storms to develop.

*In El Niño years, air and water patterns block the formation of storms, but the NOAA predicted that we won't get an Niño pattern this year.

Stock up on supplies, and keep an eye on the weather. It could be another bad year, based on the newest 2013 NOAA hurricane forecast.

[2012's Hurricane Sandy photo by NOAA/NASA]