NOAA makes prediction for 2009 hurricane season. - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

NOAA makes prediction for 2009 hurricane season.

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(NBC-KTIV) - Government forecasters say this Atlantic hurricane season will be average, but even with fewer storms predicted than last year, they say they can't tell where storms will hit, and they still warn that some of those storms to be major.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its predictions Thursday, and they are urging everyone to get ready now.

Track hurricanes yourself with StormTrack4 Interactive by clicking here. Check the current position of any active tropical storms threatening North America and get a 3-day projection cone for each storm.

In Washington FEMA's new director, the Commerce Secretary and the head of the National Hurricane Center joined together to explain the latest hurricane outlook.

NOAA is calling for a near normal Atlantic hurricane season, predicting nine to 14 named storms, four to seven hurricanes and one to three majors with winds over 111 miles per hour.

Government forecasters say several factors play into their predictions, including the possibility of an El Nino system developing in the Pacific and suppressing hurricanes in the Atlantic.

Still, the outlook comes with this warning: Hurricanes remain tough to predict.

"Hurricanes will make landfall in the U.S. Hurricanes will destroy homes. People need to heed the preparedness message," FEMA Director Craig Fugate warned.

With more than 35 million Americans now living in areas threatened by hurricanes, they are urging them to get ready now.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1st.

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