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The official start to hurricane season is less than three weeks away and there’s a new normal reflected in the 30-year average. This update indicates a rise in Atlantic tropical cyclones.

Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its updated Atlantic seasonal outlook based on the past three decades. While the number of major hurricanes has remained the same, the number of total hurricanes went up by one, and the number of named storms have increased by two.

The increase in the averages may be attributed to the overall improvement in observing platforms, including NOAA’s fleet of next-generation environmental satellites and continued hurricane reconnaissance. It may also be due to the warming ocean and atmosphere which are influenced by climate change. The update also reflects a very busy period over the last 30 years.

As we approach the official start of hurricane season, it’s important to be prepared. Start by knowing your zone. New York City emergency management has the latest details on evacuation zones and hazards your area might face in the event of a tropical cyclone. Also, have important documents handy. Put together a preparedness kit with essentials, and don’t forget to watch the weather forecast to stay in the know.