hurricane

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

We are now officially in the Atlantic Hurricane Season. It started June 1st. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts that a near-average season is likely, with 14 named storms, of which six could become hurricanes. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its wind speed reaches 74 mph. Even if a hurricane season is predicted to be mild, local officials here always prepare for the worst. 

NWS

It now appears that Hurricane Irma will head north by northwest, and not hit the Cape Fear region. The latest track has the powerful storm moving west after a direct hit on Florida this weekend. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The 2015 hurricane season begins Monday, June 1. And although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—or NOAA—predicts a slower season than usual, that doesn’t mean coastal residents can let down their guard.

Though estimates are low for this hurricane season, those numbers do not reflect the potential impact to the region. That’s according to Michael Colby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.