ORLANDO, Fla. – As we enter peak hurricane season, NOAA has updated its preseason forceast that was issued in May.
The latest update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center is significant because there is now a 45% chance for an above-normal season Forecasters now expect 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones.
Part of the reason for the increased forecast is that the El Nino factor the season began with has ended. El Nino is the periodic warming of parts of the Pacific that affects weather worldwide and dampens storm activity.
El Nino typically suppresses the Atlantic season with increased wind shear across the basin. The end of El Nino means more hospitable hurricane conditions, forecaster Gerry Bell told The Associated Press.
Hurricane season is June through November. So far, there have been two named storms, with one hurricane.
With El Nino's conclusion, wind shear in the tropical Atlantic is weakening. This is combined with a strong west African monsoon, which could lead to longer-tracked and stronger storms.
The increased temperature difference from Africa and the surrounding waters will help to send more storms off of the plateau.
So far, there have been two named storms, Andrea and Barry, which hit Louisiana as a Category 1 storm in July. Peak hurricane season occurs in the middle of September.
Typically, only one or two storms form in June or July. Ninety-fice percent of hurricanes form from August through October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.