NOAA warns of potential for "extremely active" Atlantic hurricane season
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters warned Thursday of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.
The big picture: The agency expects 19 to 25 named storms — with three to six major hurricanes — during the six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. The average season produces only 12 named storms.
- There have already been nine named storms during the season, significantly outpacing the usual two at this point in August. Those are included in the NOAA's count.
- The agency said factors like warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures and reduced wind shear are contributing to the formation of more tropical storms.
What they're saying: "This year, we expect more, stronger, and longer-lived storms than average ... well above NOAA’s threshold for an extremely active season," said said Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Worth noting: NOAA's prediction only includes the formation of storms — not that they'll necessarily make landfall.