First forecast: Experts predict 5 hurricanes this season

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An excavator tears down a damaged home from Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. In some cases, county residents have been hindered in their efforts to rebuild and repair. Mexico Beach _ which became the visual symbol of the storm with its rows of empty cement foundations where houses once stood […]

(The Advertiser/USA TODAY)- After yet another catastrophic hurricane season in the United States in 2018, which featured such ferocious storms as Florence and Michael, top hurricane forecasters have taken their first prediction for the 2019 season, which begins June 1.

Thanks to a weak El Niño, experts are calling for a “slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season.” Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach and other experts from Colorado State University – regarded as the nation’s top seasonal hurricane forecasters – predict 13 named tropical storms will form, of which five will become hurricanes.

An average season has 12 tropical storms, of which six are hurricanes.

A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its wind speed reaches 74 mph. 

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