BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Experts say New England residents may need to be prepared to batten down the hatches this Atlantic Hurricane season.
For the seventh year in a row, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an "above-average" Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA predicts there could be as many as 14 to 21 named storms, including three to six major hurricanes, meaning hurricanes that are category 3,4, or 5 and have sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or higher.
New England has not had a hurricane make landfall since Hurricane Bob, a category 2 hurricane, hit Rhode Island in 1991. However, National Weather Service meteorologist Bryce Williams told WBZ's Brooke McCarthy that New England is "overdue" for a direct hit from a hurricane.
"We were very close in the past couple of years but we've only had tropical storms," Williams said. "If there's any storm in the Caribbean this year, it's something we should be watching."
NOAA attributes the causes of a possible above-average hurricane season to warmer-than-average waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced West African monsoon. While there's no guarantee a hurricane will make landfall in New England this year, Williams said it's important that residents are prepared regardless.
"People [need to be] ready and make sure they have all their supplies, emergency plans, and things like that ready to go," he said.
The official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs until Nov. 30.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports.