Tropical storms and hurricanes are likely to be more common and more intense this season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

From June to November, scientists expect three or more intense hurricanes. A typical Atlantic hurricane season includes two intense hurricanes.

NOAA is a clearinghouse for hurricane data. It maintains databases, takes satellite images and provides weather radio and wire services that carry the latest forecasts developed by its National Weather Service.

Because hurricanes can last a week or longer and more than one can occur in the same basin at the same time, naming them reduces confusion about which storm is being described.

Northern Hemisphere hurricane names (Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea)

Names are selected from library sources and agreed on at international meetings of the World Meteorological Association

1999

Arlene

Bret

Cindy

Dennis

Emily

Floyd

Gert

Harvey

Irene

Jose

Katrina

Lenny

Maria

Nate

Ophelia

Philippe

Rita

Stan

Tammy

Vince

Wilma

2000

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Florence

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Keith

Leslie

Michael

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sandy

Tony

Valerie

William

2001

Allison

Barry

Chantal

Dean

Erin

Felix

Gabrielle

Humberto

Iris

Jerry

Karen

Lorenzo

Michelle

Noel

Olga

Pablo

Rebekah

Sebastien

Tanya

Van

Wendy

2002

Arthur

Bertha

Cesar

Dolly

Edouard

Fran

Gustav

Hortense

Isidore

Josephine

Kyle

Lili

Marco

Nana

Omar

Paloma

Rene

Sally

Teddy

Vicky

Wilfred

2003

Ana

Bill

Claudette

Danny

Erika

Fabian

Grace

Henri

Isabel

Juan

Kate

Larry

Mindy

Nicholas

Odette

Peter

Rose

Sam

Teresa

Victor

Wanda

Storm Classification

Hurricane season runs from June to November

Tropical depression: Maximum sustained winds of 39 mph

Tropical storm: 40-73 mph

Hurricanes

Barometric pressure

Wind speed

Storm surge

Damage

Category 1

28.94 inches or more

74-95 mph

4-5 feet

Minimal

Category 2

28.50-28.93 inches

96-110 mph

6-8 feet

Moderate

Category 3

27.91-28.49 inches

111-130 mph

9-12 feet

Extensive

Category 4

27.17-27.90 inches

131-155 mph

13-18 feet

Extreme

Category 5

Less than 27.17 inches

More than 155 mph

More than 18 feet

Catastrophic

CAPTION: Hondurans watch the overflowing waters of the Choluteca River Oct. 31, 1998, in Tegucigalpa after Hurricane Mitch. The storm caused more than 9,000 deaths and so changed the landscape that maps had to be redrawn. The name "Mitch" has joined 47 others retired because of their storms' notoriety. At bottom, NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Mitch.