A phony online news article that says the United States is expecting 12 more hurricanes was created as a prank on a site that allows people to generate fake news. Its claims were deemed "absurd" by the National Hurricane Center.
"The National Hurricane Center has issued 12 more hurricane warnings for the East Coast of the U.S.," read the post, "‘Regardless of which coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate at least 12 times, the National Weather Services said Thursday, not ruling out the possibility of a 13th hurricane by the end of the year."
Despite the assumed validity of the sources, the entirety of this post is false.
These so-called prank posts can leave users vulnerable to "like-farming," where scammers use click-bait posts to get as many likes as possible and spread malware through popularly clicked links.
We first saw the post on Sept. 21, 2017, but it appears to have been updated by the publisher to look more current. The content of the post hasn’t changed.
Since we first saw the post, there have been only three hurricanes in the Atlantic: Jose, Maria and Lee.
Jose, which was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm when it came close to the East Coast, has fallen off the National Hurricane Center radar since Sept. 22. Maria has moved north off the shores of North Carolina and is predicted to move northeast, farther away from the East Coast. And Lee remains a idle swirl in the middle of the Atlantic with no apparent intent to touch American shores.
The National Hurricane Center has yet to issue anything more severe than a tropical storm warning for any of these storms.
Though the post is false, Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center advises people to stay vigilant during this active hurricane season.
Since May, the National Weather Service has forecast that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season would be more active than past seasons. On Aug. 9, they updated their forecast, stating that this may be the most active hurricane season since 2010.
But, in the eyes of the National Hurricane Center, the react365.com claim is still nothing more than fake news and, according to Feltgen, "totally unfounded, totally baseless and totally irresponsible."
We rate this claim as Pants on Fire!