The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association is predicting an active Atlantic hurricane season for 2013, according to a release from the agency. Up to 20 named storms are being forecasted for the season, which begins June 1.
The 2013 predictions are 13 to 20 named storms, 7 to 11 hurricanes and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. Those are above the averages for the season, which sit at 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
Three climatic factors are strongly associated with Atlantic hurricane activity: warmer water temperatures in tropical portions of the ocean, minimized El Nino effects that help suppress hurricane formation and wind patterns influenced by a strong west African monsoon.
Image: Superstorm Sandy after making landfall on the U.S. East Coast (Credit: NASA)