A key satellite positioned to track severe weather in the eastern United States recently failed, just as the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on Saturday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration activated a spare satellite, which will provide coverage of the East Coast, while it is trying to fix the failed one, the agency said in a status report on its website.
"There is no estimate on return to operations at this time," NOAA said.
The Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season starts on June 1 and lasts six months. NOAA expects this year's season to be "extremely active," with 13 to 20 tropical storms and seven to 11 of those strengthening into hurricanes.