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By Mike Vatalaro

Above Average Hurricane Season Predicted

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center foresees up to 18 named storms in the Atlantic this hurricane season, which began on June 1st. Of these, between six and 10 are predicted to become hurricanes, with three to six becoming major storms (Category 3 or higher).

There is about a 70 percent chance that the number of storms will fall into these ranges, making the 2011 season above average compared to a more typical 11 named storms and six hurricanes in a given season.

Hurricanes Karl, Igor, and Julia, were just three of 19 named storms of the 2010 season, shown here on September 16th.

"The U.S. was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season's tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines," said Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator. "We can't count on luck to get us through this season."

The 2010 season was the third-busiest on record with 19 named storms forming, the most since 2005, the worst season on record. That year gave us Rita, Wilma, and of course, Katrina. With 2011 shaping up to look similar to 2010, it is important to be prepared, and stay informed. BoatUS offers hurricane advisory emails to members so you can keep on top of the latest information on storms headed to your region. Sign up at www.BoatUS.com/Hurricanes.

Want To Know Where That Storm Is Going To Go?

Track hurricanes with all the NOAA charts, including forecast track, and "spaghetti" models at: www.boatus.com/hurricanes/tracking.asp

To learn how to best protect your boat in a hurricane, go to,