With the tropics already heating up and Atlantic hurricane season beginning in a few days, NOAA released its 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast Thursday, predicting another active season.
The agency's predictions are in line with AccuWeather.com's forecast, which was released on May 15.
NOAA predicts 13 to 20 named storms total, between seven and 11 of which will be hurricanes, and three to six of which will become major hurricanes.
The season average is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
"Everybody seems to be in agreement that this is going to be another very active year in the Atlantic," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.
NOAA also matched the AccuWeather long-range prediction that the 2013 season may unleash stronger storms than in the last couple of years.
"As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it's important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline," NOAA's forecast reads. "Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall."
Though the agency does not issue predictions for U.S. landfalls, AccuWeather.com has predicted three this season. Areas of particular concern include the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and the East Coast.
As the official start of the season nears, there is some information that suggests support for June or July development, Kottlowski said.
Development in the Eastern Pacific next week could help lead to development in the Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico in the early part of June.
"People need to have a hurricane plan in order now, or be developing one now, not waiting until a hurricane or tropical storm starts showing up on weather maps," Kottlowski said. "I can't emphasize that enough."
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