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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Hurricane season could be active, meteorologists say

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Even though the hurricane season may be more than a month-and-a-half away, weather forecasters are giving preliminary estimates on how storm activity may turn out for the summer and into the early part of fall. If their results are accurate, it could be another active year for hurricanes along the Atlantic.

According to the Houston-based stormed prediction company ImpactWeather, after a fairly robust 2012 for hurricane development, 2013 has the potential to produce more storms. Chris Hebert, senior meteorologist for ImpactWeather, notes that there could be as many 16 to 20 named storms and between seven and nine weather events that turn out to be hurricanes.

As a general rule, storms aren't defined as "hurricanes" unless they produce a certain level of wind. For example, on the Beaufort scale, a tropical depression has to bring gale-force winds at or in excess of 74 MPH to be deemed a hurricane.

In 2012, there were 19 named storms. Of these, 10 were official hurricanes.

The report also predicted how many intense hurricanes may occur during the season. In 2012, one Category 3 storm developed, but did not make landfall. This year, ImpactWeather says there could be between two and four intense hurricanes. A Category 5 is the strongest hurricane there is and produces sustained winds at or above 157 MPH.

Only six Category 5 hurricanes in recorded history
Officials with the National Hurricane Center point out that there have been a limited number of Category 5 hurricanes throughout history, specifically six, the last one occurring in 2007. Of those that have developed, many diminished in intensity and affected the U.S. mainland as a Category 3 storm, such as in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina impacted the Gulf Coast.

Nevertheless, forecasters say that homeowners and business owners should prepare themselves.

"With even more severe hurricanes on the horizon for 2013, preparedness and planning should be of paramount importance," said Mark Chambers, president of ImpactWeather.

Perhaps the most salient example of how recent hurricane activity affected homeowners and business owners was Hurricane Sandy. Estimates point out that the superstorm resulted in more than $50 billion in losses for residents and entrepreneurs along the East Coast.

To more effectively determine how at risk a homeowner's property is, a real estate inspection can do a great deal of good. Having a professional inspection performed can give homeowners the information they need so they can better fortify and reinforce their residences so that they can withstand heavy rain and damaging wind.