The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season has been extremely quiet this year, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there is now a near-normal or above-normal season anticipated for the rest of the year.
While NOAA revised the annual forecast, it says the season is still expected to be the most active since 2012.
Forecasters say people can now expect a 70-percent chance of 12-17 named storms, of which 5-8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes. Those are storms that have reached Category 3 wind or greater.
“We’ve raised the numbers because some conditions now in place are indicative of a more active hurricane season, such as El Nino ending, weaker vertical wind shear and weaker trade winds over the central tropical Atlantic, and a stronger west African monsoon,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
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So far there have been five named Atlantic storms this year:
– Hurricane Alex stayed in the Atlantic Ocean
– Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall in South Carolina
– Tropical Storm Colin crossed the upper western Florida panhandle and died in the north Atlantic
– Tropical Storm Danielle was a weak storm that made landfall in eastern Mexico near the Bay of Campeche
– Hurricane Earl struck Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Belize, Guatemala and made its final landfall southeast of Veracruz, Mexico, last week.
It is blamed for six deaths in the Dominican Republic and 39 deaths in Mexico.