NOAA forecasts 45% chance of above-normal hurricane season

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MIAMI – Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have increased their forecast for an above-normal hurricane season.

In its updated forecast released Thursday, NOAA now says the likelihood of an above-normal season is up to 45 percent. That's a large increase from the 30 percent predicted in the organization's May outlook.

NOAA is also predicting 10-17 named storms, up from 9-15 in the orginal forecast. Of those named storms, 5-9 are now expected to become hurricanes.

The reason for the increased forecast is due to the current El Nino having ended.

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“El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead,” said NOAAs Gerry Bell, Ph.D. “This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year.”