The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an "active to extremely active" hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin this year. In a new press release, the administration forecasts a 70 percent probability for the following:

-14 to 23 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher)
- 8 to 14 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher)
- 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes (Category 3,4, or 5, with winds o at least 111 mph)

This forecast exceeds the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. NOAA is basing its projected uptick in activity on dissipating wind shear from El Nino, above average sea surface temperatures (record temps are already present), and the continuation of a high activity era for storms.

"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," said Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."

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