CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its predictions for the 2016 Hurricane Season Friday, calling for a near-normal season.
The outlook calls for a 45 percent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season, including:
- Between 10 and 16 named storms, which includes Alex in January
- Between four and eight hurricanes, which also includes Alex
- Between one and four major hurricanes
- Accumulated Cyclone Energy range of 65 to 140 percent, including Alex
A major hurricane is defined as a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm.
A tropical system expected to develop off the Carolina coast this weekend will be named Bonnie if it reaches Tropical Storm strength.
The outlook is produced by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in collaboration with hurricane experts from the National Hurricane Center and the Hurricane Research Division.
NOAA's prediction of a near-normal season is in line with an earlier prediction from Colorado State University Meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray which called for an "approximately average activity."
That forecast, released on April 14, called for 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
While the Colorado State forecast also predicted landfall probabilities, NOAA's forecast does not.
"Hurricane landfalls are largely determined by weather patterns in place as the hurricane approaches, which are only predictable when the storm is within several days of making landfall," NOAA's website states.
The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.