Get ready for another active hurricane season with potentially close to 12 hurricanes, half of them major storms, forecasts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NOAA expects 13 to 20 named storms, seven to 11 of them reaching hurricane status (winds of at least 74 mph).

Three to six will become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher (wind speeds of at least 111 mph).

The six-month hurricane season, which officially begins June 1, could start a bit earlier, according to Kathryn Sullivan, acting NOAA administrator.

Although there were a large number of named storms in 2012, Hurricane Sandy last October is the one for the history books. The name has been retired.

Five of the past seven seasons have been more active than normal. The season of 2005 set a record with 28 named storms.

This year's names: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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