NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Gloria on Sept. 25, 1985. It was the last hurricane to make landfall on Long Island and came ashore as a Category 2 storm.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which starts tomorrow and ends on Nov. 30, is expected to be “near-normal,” according to climate forecasters with the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The federal agencies are forecasting 12 to 17 total named storms this year, which bring winds of 39 mph or higher, according to a release issued by the NOAA last week. Of those, five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges, according to the release.

There are no tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at this time, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than recent years, due to competing factors — some that suppress storm development and some that fuel it — driving this year’s overall forecast for a near-normal season,” the release states. 

The NOAA predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season, according to the release. An average hurricane season, according to the NOAA, has 14 named storms, which includes seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Additionally, the NOAA scientists predict a high potential for the development of El Niño — a climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean which can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity — to develop this summer.

This year’s Atlantic cyclone names, selected by the World Meteorological Organization, are: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney. 

The 2022 season, although first predicted to be the seventh-straight above-average hurricane season, ended as a near-average season with 14 named storms, including eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Three hurricanes made landfall along the coast of the mainland United States. The season did, however, end up being the most destructive and costly in history, mostly due to Hurricane Ian, a category 4 storm tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the U.S.. Ian was responsible for over 150 direct and indirect deaths and over $112 billion in damages, according to a National Hurricane Center report.

For information about how to prepare for a hurricane and what to do when one is threatening the region, see the National Hurricane Preparedness page from NOAA.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: