Forecasters with the NOAA issued an update to its 2017 hurricane season outlook Wednesday, predicting a higher likelihood for an above-normal season.
The new forecasts increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes, saying that the 2017 hurricane season could be the most active since 2010.
The NOAA reports that there is a 60 percent chance for an above-normal season. That is a 15 percent increase compared to the prediction released in May. The updated August forecast predicts 14-19 named storms (an increase from 11-17) and 2-5 major hurricanes (an increase from 2-4). A prediction of 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the May report.
New NOAA hurricane season forecast released today calls for 14-19 named storms. Previous forecast was for 11-17. pic.twitter.com/Ey9bmcKX1j— Alexandra Cranford (@acranfordwwl) August 9, 2017
“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of storms usually form,” lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell, Ph.D., said.
Bell says factors including warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and higher predicted activity points to an above-normal season.
“Today’s updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said.
The Atlantic basin has seen six named storms this year, two of which made landfall in the United States.