ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday issued its annual mid-season forecast ahead of the peak of hurricane season.
The administration is now calling for 15-21 named storms, with 7-10 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 3-5 becoming major hurricanes.
Reasons for increased forecast:
- Potential for La Nina to develop (creates a more favorable environment for storms to develop)
- Active West African monsoon season (more robust storms moving off Africa)
The updated forecast includes the storms that have already developed. While July was mainly quiet, the season is still well ahead of schedule, seeing five named storms prior to August. One of those storms, Elsa, strengthened into a hurricane last month.
An “average” hurricane season now consists of 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. Three of those hurricanes are forecast to become major, category 3 or stronger.
Tropical activity, specifically hurricanes, starts to pick up in August. The peak of hurricane season is Sept 10.
The National Hurricane Center on Thursday was keeping tabs on three potential systems as the tropics heat up.
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