Forecasters predict more hurricanes this season

Expect an active hurricane season this year, with more major hurricanes and tropical storms than usual along the Atlantic coast, AccuWeather.com meteorologists said.

Eight hurricanes are forecast and half of them are expected to be major storms, with three of them making landfall in the United States, long-range forecasters from the private company said. Six hurricanes are typical each season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

Forecasters predicted the season would develop normally, unlike last year’s, which saw two named storms before the season’s official start on June 1.

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Sixteen tropical storms are also forecast, compared with the normal 12.

Though it’s still difficult to determine where potential storms would make landfall, all eyes are on Florida. Meteorologists said Florida is long overdue for a direct hurricane hit..

Parts of the East Coast ravaged by Hurricane Sandy are still extremely vulnerable to any storm, as areas with decimated sand dunes now have increased potential for severe inland flooding, forecasters said.

“It would be very difficult for a storm to hit right where Sandy hit,” meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said in a statement. Impacts such as storm surge, strong winds, and heavy rain are also possible as far as a few hundred miles from a storm, he warned.

The official Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. The National Weather Service usually issues its own hurricane forecast before the beginning of the season.