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Double Emergency Spending for Active Hurricane Season

The forecasters are predicting a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher).

A palm tree with its branches being blown sideways in strong winds.
(TNS) - Forecasters are predicting another active Atlantic hurricane season after last year's historic number of storms, as President Biden on Monday said he's doubling emergency spending to help communities prep for weather-related disasters.

Those at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center say there's a 60% chance for an "above-normal" Atlantic hurricane season, but they don't expect the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.

The forecasters are predicting a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher).

They're anticipating three to five major hurricanes — category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher — during the Atlantic hurricane season, which is from June 1 through Nov. 30.

"Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring," Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. "The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms."

El Nino Southern Oscillation conditions are currently in the neutral phase, with the possibility of the return of La Nina later in the hurricane season.

"ENSO-neutral and La Nina support the conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era," said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon (season) will likely be factors in this year's overall activity."

As forecasters predict the Atlantic hurricane season will be busier than normal, Biden on Monday said he's doubling emergency spending to $1 billion to help communities prepare for hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

"We all know that the storms are coming, and we're going to be prepared," Biden said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Washington headquarters. "We have to be ready."

FEMA will provide $1 billion for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which helps states, local communities, tribes and territories to develop projects to prepare for and reduce risks from disasters and natural hazards.

"We're going to spare no expense, no effort, to keep Americans safe and respond to crises when they arise," Biden said. "And they certainly will."

Herald wire services were used in this report.

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