TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – NOAA forecasters released an updated hurricane season outlook on Thursday that sees an increase in the chance of an above-average season.
NOAA has been monitoring the oceanic and atmospheric patterns. They say El Nino has now ended and conditions are more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity.
Seasonal forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center at NOAA initially predicted a 30% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. They have now updated their prediction to 45%. The chance of near-normal activity is at 35% and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.
The number of predicted storms has also increased. NOAA is now predicting 10 to 17 named storms. Five to nine of those storms are predicted to become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes.
We are also now in the peak months of hurricane season. Peak months are usually August through October.
“Today’s updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared,” said Pete Gaynor, the acting FEMA administrator. “We urge everyone to learn more about hurricane hazards and prepare now, ahead of time, so that if state and local authorities announce evacuations in advance of a storm, you and your family will have planned where to go and what to do to stay safe.”
So far this season, we have had two named storms – Andrea and Barry. Our next named storm will be Chantal.