The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in its pre-season outlook that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year.
The outlook calls for a 70% chance of above-normal tropical cyclone activity during the Central Pacific hurricane season this year.
Earlier this year, AccuWeather released its own prediction calling for 12-14 storms, five to seven hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.
When does hurricane season start?
This week, the first named storm, Andrea, formed hundreds of miles east of Florida and the Carolinas before dissipating.
"There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and United States landfalls in any given season".
In other words, El Niño often suppresses hurricane activity in the Atlantic, Bell said.
"It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare", said Acting Deputy FEMA administrator Daniel Kaniewski. If a storm causes major damage--such as Katrina, Florence or Michael - its name is retired.
Emergency officials encourage Americans in hurricane-prone areas to learn their local evacuation routes, acquire a backup means for communications and stock their houses with food and medical supplies.
The 2018 hurricane season was more destructive than usual.
Hurricane Michael was a fast-moving, Category 5 storm when it rammed through the Florida Panhandle with high winds over only a few hours, whereas Hurricane Florence stalled for four days over North Carolina and SC, causing widespread flooding further inland.
Highlighting the unpredictability of the storms, "The 1992 season produced only six named storms and one subtropical storm". After the storm, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had requested $61 billion in federal aid.