Thursday marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. As many as four major hurricanes are predicted in the next six months.
Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, predict there is a 45 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season, with the potential for 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes -- with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher.
"The most dangerous part of a storm is not the wind, it's not the rain," said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA Administrator. "It's the flooding and the storm surge that happens afterwards. So we need to be prepared for all of that in the upcoming season."
This year the National Hurricane Center has new forecast tools that will issue storm surge warnings about the impact of rising water and the need for evacuation.