Forecasters are now predicting that this hurricane season has potential to be "extremely active" and potentially the worst since 2010, according to .
In May, the NOAA predicted a 45% chance of an above-normal season, but yesterday they increased that number to 60% in an updated report, which anticipates that there could be 14-19 named storms and 2-5 major hurricanes this season.
"The wind and air patterns in the area of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean where many storms develop are very conducive to an above-normal season," says Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May."
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and typically produces 12 named storms. On average, six of those storms become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
While it's only nine weeks into the six-month season, there have already been six named storms in the Atlantic — about double the number that form by early August on average.
While only two of these storms hit the U.S. — Cindy in June near the Louisiana-Texas border and Emily in July in Anna Maria Island, Florida — the NOAA urged people who live near the Atlantic's coast to have a hurricane preparedness plan.
"As we enter the height of hurricane season, it's important for everyone to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update their insurance and have a preparedness plan," says FEMA Administrator Brock Long.
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