NOAA forecasters predict fewer hurricanes this season, with only 3 to 6 named storms
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PISCATAWAY - Forecasters are predicting a slower-than-normal hurricane season, which is welcome news to many in the Garden State.
The six-month season begins June 1, and officials expect fewer storms than average. But they remind us that it doesn't really matter how many storms, since it only took one "Sandy" to do major damage.
"This forecast doesn't say where they will go, or when they will strike," says state climatologist David Robinson. "It generally only takes one storm."
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Residents are hoping Mother Nature spares New Jersey any major storms this year. "My parents have a shore house, finally recovering from Hurricane Sandy, so it'd be nice to stay that way," says Matthew Bellon, of Bound Brook.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced predictions for a slower-than-normal Atlantic hurricane season.
They expect eight to 13 tropical storms and three to six named hurricanes, with just one or two of them a major category three or higher.
Experts point to an expected El Nino, which could cause wind shear that makes it difficult for hurricanes to form and grow.
Robinson says there is another reason for the prediction. "The sea surface temperature in the sub-tropical Atlantic, off the African Coast to the Caribbean is below average and that's fuel for these storms."
Forecasters say local variations could make some storms more severe as they approach the state.