On the Radar: Hurricane season; spelling bee; tornado vigil
Hurricane warning flags blow in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, as Hurricane Earl approached last year.
June 1st, 2011
06:28 AM ET

On the Radar: Hurricane season; spelling bee; tornado vigil

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.

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Filed under: Alabama • Hurricanes • Spelling bee • Tornadoes • Tropical weather • Weather
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. John B

    We have 4 seasons here in Florida: Tourist, Holiday, Love Bug and Hurricane.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      What about Wabbit Season?

      June 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Quincey9

      Duck season

      June 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Hello!

      King Cobia season

      June 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Quincey9

    I've been in South Florida since the day I was born (well, before that too technically) as were my parents and my own kids as well. I've tended to lean on the advice of my late father when he told me, "Keep flipping channels 'till ya find weather ya like". Every day they show the graphics for the forecast and every day I think the same thing; you've got a sun, a cloud and a lightening bolt. Just put a freakin' snowflake in there and be done with it. Ever notice that whatever the weather that the meteorologist predicts... that it's just exactly what we 'need' (after a drought they'll say, "and here comes hurricane blah blah with some 'much needed rain')? Bring it on... I had accordion blinds installed on the 2nd floor so it'll be easy shuttering up.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. CSnSC

    @john b it can be easier to clean up from a storm than getting love bugs off your car

    June 1, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. KCTwister

    I don't know how you'll do it down in South Florida with all that water surround you ALL the time! Yes, it is beautiful down there... but you can't tell what the weathers gonna do. At least when I'm home I can tell if a storm is coming. When I was there it always looked like a storm was coming. You'll go through some tough weather conditions and some mean a%# bugs too. 😉 This year it seems more dangerous so please be very careful and mindful of Mother Nature. (She seems to be in a Bad Mood this year.)

    June 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. dominedeus

    My recollection is that they have predicted large storms over the last several years and nothing has happened. I could probably predict these things better by using a Magic 8 Ball

    June 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. jmc

    Hey people i from charlotte nc iwent through hugo was devastating 2 our city and thats hundreds of miles inland u cant trust mother nature

    June 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. countryboy

    What is the world coming to? http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUMONE bye now.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ellis

    "Hear future?". What's that?

    June 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bradford Stanley

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    June 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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