Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, according to their most recent update Wednesday.
Researchers released a new report on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. The Atlantic hurricane season includes the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters are predicting a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, compared to the forecast that was released in May, which called for a 45 percent chance.
NOAA is now predicting 14-19 named storms, up from the 11-17 that were predicted in May. Forecasters are also predicting 2-5 major hurricanes, which is an increase from May’s report of 2-4 major hurricanes.
Officials said the number of hurricanes, 5-9, for the 2017 season remains unchanged.
“The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010,” according to NOAA’s report.
Some of the factors for the increased outlook include the tropics entering the peak of the hurricane season with wind and air patterns becoming more conducive to an above-normal season. One of the most significant factors is that the chance for an El Nino to form, which often prevents storms from strengthening, has dropped since May.
Officials said the fact that there have been six named storms so far this season adds to the likelihood of an above-normal season. The report indicates that average seasons typically produce 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily and Franklin are the storms that have already been named. Some of the other storm names include Harvey, Irma, Katia and Maria.
“Today’s updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long.
NOAA’s update also decreases the chance of a…