Forecasters at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are warning of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season.
The outlook released Thursday calls for 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes, with two to four becoming major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, three of which become major.
“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed in April.
The hurricane season begins June 1.