NC State releases hurricane season forecast

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A university in our state is predicting an active hurricane season with several named storms.

NC State is predicting that the Atlantic will see 15 to 20 named storms, which is a more active season than in previous years.

Greenville resident Ruby Barnes knows all too well the damage a hurricane can cause. She had to evacuate her home due to a major storm back in 1999.

“Every rain that fear comes back, so all you can do is pray and hope it won’t be as bad as it was before,” said Barnes.

Barnes never thought her Greenville home would be hit by a hurricane, but in 1999, that day came.

“We heard a storm is coming this way. We didn’t know it was gonna be as bad as it was, so the sheriff came through and asked us everybody to evacuate,” said Barnes.

The experience left her with fear that she still lives with today, and while it can seem scary, hurricane season is a reality all Eastern Carolinians should prepare for.

NC State is predicting 3 to 4 major hurricanes for this upcoming season based on numbers released Tuesday.

“We got the heat. We have less of a breeze across the Atlantic, and that’s kind of allowing a nice nursery for storms to really develop,” said Charlie Ironmonger, a WITN meteorologist.

While Charlie says you shouldn’t fear the upcoming hurricane season, you should be ready for it.

“While we are predicting more hurricanes and tropical storms, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to get hit. Now the more storms that there are in the Atlantic the better odds that one of them is going to find us, so that’s why we’re encouraging people to be aware,” said Ironmonger.

Charlie also said that in order to be prepared, you should have a hurricane preparedness kit ready with 3 gallons of water, food, medicine if needed and important documents.

Colorado State University predicted around 23 named storms, while the average per season is around 14 named storms.