June 1 marks start of Atlantic hurricane season

MIAMI (AP) - Coastal residents, you have been warned: Hurricane season has begun.

The six-month Atlantic hurricane season begins Wednesday and continues through Nov. 30.

Federal forecasters say they expect three to six major hurricanes from an above-average storm season.

Major hurricanes are storms with top winds of 111 mph and up. No major hurricanes have made a U.S. landfall in five years, but forecasters warn that luck might not last.

The 2011 season is expected to be a busy one for sure. NOAA is forecasting 12-18 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major storms category three or higher. There is an above average risk of a U.S. landfall this year.

Emergency managers from Texas to Maine urge residents to develop disaster plans and determine whether they live in evacuation zones.

The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also wants residents to make social media part of their disaster plans, now that FEMA posts on Twitter and the National Hurricane Center has a Facebook page.

Online: National Hurricane Center, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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