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Experts Make Predictions for 2013 Hurricane Season

The 2013 hurricane season begins in six weeks, on June 1.

Hurricane experts predict the 2013 hurricane season could be a bumpy ride, with the Atlantic region seeing four major hurricanes this year based on an average of their predictions.

Although Northern Virginia isn't located along a sandy Atlantic beach, its location is still prone to getting whacked by hurricanes. Anyone who recalls Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and Hurricane Irene in 2011 knows how destructive they can be, flooding homes and businesses and knocking out power for days. Even Tropical Storm Lee did some damage in 2011 in Fairfax County's Huntington area.

Hurricane season begins in six weeks, on June 1, and lasts until Nov. 30, with the peak of the season from mid-August to late October.

This year, Northern Virginia could possibly see a Hurricane Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto or Ingrid — for the complete list of official hurricane names for 2013, see below.

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Although the National Hurricane Center's predictions won't come out until late May, several experts are already weighing in with their predictions of what we can expect for this year's hurricane season.

  • Colorado State University predictions for the 2013 hurricane season: Four major hurricanes and nine hurricanes. A major hurricane is any storm that is in categories 3 to 5, with 5 being the worst. A storm becomes a Category 3 when its winds gust from 111 to 129 mph; Category 4 gusts are 130 to 156 mph; and Category 5 gusts are 157 mph or more. 

"The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are unlikely," thus increasing the chance of a busy season, said Phil Klotzbach, who authored the forecast with William Gray as part of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project.

El Niño, a warming of ocean water off the west coast of South America, often depresses the Atlantic hurricane season due to higher instances of wind shear as storms develop. In its absence, the Atlantic season can be more active.

Hurricane names for 2013

When hurricanes result in massive destruction, their names are banned from the official lists, which are recycled by the National Hurricane Center every six years. The names are chosen and voted on by members of the World Meteorological Organization. See the list of retired hurricane names here. Last year's Hurricane Sandy was officially struck from the list.

The National Hurricane Center began using names for hurricanes in 1953, using female names. They began adding male names to Atlantic storms in 1979.

Here are the names for the 2013 season:

  • Andrea
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dorian
  • Erin
  • Fernand
  • Gabrielle
  • Humberto
  • Ingrid
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Lorenzo
  • Melissa
  • Nestor
  • Olga
  • Pablo
  • Rebekah
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy
DGeorge April 22, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Houses on the water should be considered temporary. They will go away at some point. If you cannot afford to lose and replace your house, and maybe your land as well, you should not live there. I have a friend that lost his, new to him, house in Colonial Beach before he spent even one night in it. The same with mudslide houses and forest fire houses in Cal. You knew about it when you bought the house, when it happens all you can do is walk away. Just don't ask me to help pay for it when it goes.
Barry April 23, 2013 at 01:55 PM
People, if a hurricane is headed your way this Summer, just pack up the pets, pack the contents of your refrigerator into coolers, and go on vacation to a place that doesn't suffer from hurricanes. Why stick around when it's 95 degrees w/o air conditioning when the power's off for 4 days?
jerseyswamps April 24, 2013 at 07:42 AM
I agree, flood ins. should not be subsidized by taxpayers. But the federal government has been doing this for years, maybe 40 years. Most people never knew this if they purchased a home near water. All they knew was the lender required flood ins. and the rate was reasonable. Many near water have been living there since well before Katrina. If the feds are going to pull the rug out from under the middle class who live near water they should do it very gradually over many years. They could also not subsidize new purchases. But even that would be a big hit for current owners. Their home value would tank.
BHW April 27, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Try no power for weeks and mandatory evacuation no readmittance to state of emergency lifted. I live in a disaster zone for Sandy and it is very sad and will never be the same!
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