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.
“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.”