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(NEW YORK) — The Atlantic hurricane season, which begins next month, is forecast to be near or below average this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Thursday.

“NOAA predicts the Atlantic hurricane season in 2014 will have a range of eight to thirteen tropical storms, three to six of which will become hurricanes, and one to two of those may grow in strength and become Category 3 or higher major storms,” NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan said.

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One reason for the near- to below-normal season is the possibility that El Niño conditions will develop in the Atlantic, which makes hurricanes less likely.

“One way that El Niño suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity is by increasing the amount of wind shear, which inhibits cyclonic development growth and so reduces the number and the intensity of storms,” Sullivan explained.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett Talks About 2014 Hurricane Season, Evacuation Plans

The Atlantic hurricane season kicks off on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast to Be Near or Below Average  was originally published on

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