WEATHER

Hurricane Season 2013 outlook

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The 2013 Hurricane season started with Tropical Storm Andrea, which developed the first week of June. Andrea dumped as much as three inches of rain across the metro region, knocked down trees and triggered flash flooding. It was the first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic season, and experts say this year is shaping up to be busy.

Timothy Schott is the tropical cyclone program leader for the National Weather Service. He says there’s a good likelihood that there will be a number of landfalls through the Caribbean and possibly along the gulf or the Atlantic Coast. He also believes the D.C. area is prone to hurricanes even though it’s not on the immediate coast.

"It could be, you know, damaging storm surge in the nation in terms of several feet of water inundating parts of Alexandria and also parts of downtown Baltimore,” explained Schott. “We could also have damaging wind gusts up to 70-85 mph resulting in lots of trees and power lines being down."

NOAA is expecting 13-20 named storms, between seven and 11 of them becoming hurricanes. And of those, as many as six could become major hurricanes.

What's behind this busier season?

• First, light winds. A lack of El Nino in the Pacific means calm conditions in the Atlantic. That’s ideal for hurricanes to form.

• Second, an abundance of very warm water in the eastern Atlantic and Caribbean.

• And third, we're expecting frequent monsoons off the coast of Africa.

Never before has the Mid-Atlantic coast been more vulnerable to hurricanes, according to forecasters.

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