The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held a press conference Thursday to announce the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.

According to NOAA administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad, NOAA predicts a near-normal 2023 season.

The range of storms is expected to be 12-17 named storms and one to four major hurricanes.

“It’s time to prepare,” said Spinrad. “Remember it only takes one storm to devastate a community.”

During the announcement, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said the Department of Commerce is fully committed to NOAA’s studies and predictions.

“Major destruction can be brought by storms, causing billions of dollars in damage,” said Graves. “It’s critical work to help with recovery.”

He said investing in the science and technology necessary to improve predictions is important.

Those investments include supercomputers, support services to local officials, better satellite observations and expanding community outreach.

Investments in hurricane predictions have paid off; as Graves said, since 2017, NOAA has improved the lead time on forecasts by two days. He also said the five-day forecast is now as accurate as the two-day forecast.

“These additional days of preparedness can make all the difference,” he added.

Graves and others at NOAA are urging local officials to prepare and have a plan.

RELATED: Local officials prepare for hurricane season while NOAA pilots prepare to fly into storms this summer

Hurricane season is June 1-November 30.

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