Federal forecasters are predicting a slower than usual hurricane season this year because of an expected El Niño system.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in New York City on Thursday that the periodic Pacific warming characteristic of El Niño will likely reduce the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Cooler temperatures on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean compared with recent years will also lower the probability of hurricane formation.
Officials expect about eight to 13 named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. Just one or two major hurricanes with winds over 110 miles per hour are forecast.
Officials warned it takes only one storm to wreak havoc and urged Americans to be prepared.
A new mapping tool will keep coastal residents updated on the storm surge threat in their communities.
Now is a good time to revisit your disaster plans and make sure to have a basic disaster supply kit:
BASIC DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT:
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Manual can opener for food
Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released it's 2014 hurricane forecast Thursday, calling for a below average season thanks to El Nino.
A total of 8-13 storms are predicted, 3-6 hurricanes, with 1-2 expected to develop into major hurricanes.
NOAA hasn't said that any one area is more vulnerable than another.
Of course here in Eastern Carolina, we know all it takes is one storm for there to be major damage, and that's why forecasters say you should always be prepared.