The predictions for this year’s hurricane season have been heightened, from that of an above average to an extremely active one.
This information was disclosed in an updated outlook produced by the The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on August 9.
According to the new report, the body said this season has the potential to be extremely active, as hurricanes forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, with an increase in the number of named storms and major hurricanes.
NOAA’s forecasters have indicated that there is now a sixty percent chance of an above-normal season; an increase from their forty-five percent predicted in May.
The predictions now call for 14 to 19 named storms, of which two to five could be major hurricanes. Earlier predictions named 11-17 storms, of which two to four could be major hurricanes. The initial prediction of 5-9 hurricanes overall, remains unchanged.
Lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Gerry Bell explained the factors contributing to the increase.
He said, “The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season. This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May.”
Dr. Bell added that there is warmer water across the tropical Atlantic than previously predicted.
To date, the season has produced six named storms—Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily and Franklin.The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30.