Forecasters are out with their predictions for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1. Things could get rough.

The prediction comes from forecasters at The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It could mean as many as 10 to 16 tropical storms (the average is 12) and a possible five to nine hurricanes.

Breaking down the odds, NOAA says there is a 35 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

So what will this mean for New Jersey? NOAA hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell says at this point there's no way to accurately predict how many storms may hit the Garden State.

"Atlantic coast and Gulf coast residents need to start getting prepared for the hurricane season now," he advised.

Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental prediction at NOAA, says a weak El Nino and near-average sea temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean are two factors that are driving this prediction.

The forecasters were joined at their Miami press conference by officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who place a heavy emphasis on preparedness for any eventuality that may come along with an Atlantic storm, including having food and water stockpiled for a shelter-in-place, preparedness for an extended loss of power and considering the possibility that evacuation to a safer location may be necessary.

NOAA is also touting improved hardware and computing over the past year in an effort to more accurately predict the path of storms.

Sign up for the WPG Talk Radio 104.1 Newsletter

Get South Jersey news and information e-mailed to you every week.