Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting above-average activity for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, the agency said in a statement yesterday.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued a forecast of 14 to 21 named storms and a 65 percent probability of an above-normal season, with a 10 percent chance of below-normal activity.
If the forecasters are correct, it would be the seventh consecutive year of busier-than-normal hurricane activity. The climate center is predicting six to 10 hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 (winds of 111 to 129 mph) or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The forecast is based on such factors as an ongoing La Niña pattern, warmer sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean, weaker trade winds, and an enhanced African monsoon, NOAA stated.