Three things you need to know today.
Hurricane season: The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season begins Wednesday with forecasters expecting an above-average year for named storms in the Atlantic basin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.
During the season, which ends November 30, NOAA is predicting there will be 12 to 18 named storms. Storms are named when they reach tropical-storm status with winds of 39 mph or higher.
Of those storms, forecasters are predicting six to 10 will reach hurricane status, with winds of 74 mph or higher.
Three to six of the hurricane could become major hurricanes, with winds in excess of 110 mph.
"The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season's tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines. However, we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook," NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said last month.
Arlene will be the name of the season's first storm to reach sustained winds of 39 mph, followed by Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily and Franklin. See the full list here.
Spelling bee: The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins with preliminary rounds Wednesday in Washington D.C.
This year's competition features 275 entrants from all 50 states, plus entrants from U.S. territories, Department of Defense schools and eight foreign countries.
Contestants are between 8 and 15 years old with 8-year-old Ethan Ruggeri of Locust Grove, Virginia, being the youngest entrant.
Wednesday's preliminary rounds are on ESPN3 beginning at 8 a.m. ET, Thursday's semifinals are on ESPN at 10 a.m. ET and Friday's finals begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Tornado vigil: The city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is holding a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night for the victims of the April 27 tornado that devastated a six-mile swath of the city.
The mile-wide tornado killed 41 people and destroyed or damaged 7,000 homes and businesses in the city of 90,000 people.
The event, to be held at the city's downtown Government Plaza, will include a performance by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and a video presentation, according to a report in The Crimson White.
“I think it’s going to be an emotional night for all of us... but is also symbolic in that we are going to turn a page,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox told The Crimson White.