(WASHINGTON) — There’s a 70 percent chance the Atlantic hurricane season will be above-normal this year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued its updated outlook on Thursday.
“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”
Those four storms — Andrea, Barry, Chantal and Dorian — all happened before the peak of the hurricane season, mid-August through October.
Including them into its latest outlook, NOAA now projects there will be 13 to 19 named storms between June 1 and Nov. 30, six to nine of which will be hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, NOAA says three to five could be category 3, 4 or 5 storms.
In comparison, the averages over the past 30 year Atlantic hurricane seasons have consisted of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
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Stephen Collinson, CNN
Kelly Bazzle, CNN
Jethro Mullen, Ravi Hiranand and Frank Pallotta, CNN