WASHINGTON (AP) - The government has issued its forecast for the upcoming hurricane season, along with a warning that Americans in hurricane -prone areas prepare themselves.
Forecasters predict nine to 14 named tropical storms this year. The named storms are expected to include 4 to 7 hurricane s of which 1 to 3 are likely to be major storms - a near normal year.
National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read says now is the time for preparedness - for people to have a plan and follow it. Regardless of the total number of storms, forecasters point out that it only takes one to make it a very bad season.
Hurricane season officially starts June 1. Last year there were 16 named storms, of which 8 grew into hurricane s and 5 were major. About 1,000 people lost their lives, mostly in flash flooding in the Caribbean.