Hurricane forecasters hike number of named storms in 2017 season update

Potential Cyclone 7

On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased its forecast, just as the season peak nears, calling for 14 to 19 names storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes with winds topping 111 miles per hour.

Researchers released a new report on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30. "We had expected them to develop as the season went on, which is why the May forecast called for an active season", said Gerry Bell, NOAA's lead hurricane researcher.

This forecast will translate to an extremely active season, perhaps most active since 2010.

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Earlier this year, NOAA scientists already predicted an above-average 2017 hurricane season. Forecasters are also predicting 2-5 major hurricanes, which is an increase from May's report of 2-4 major hurricanes.

Other factors include warmer than average waters in the Atlantic within the region of typical tropical development, as well as forecast models predicting more storms to develop. "This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May".

"Today's updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge", said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. While Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida. This in an increase from initial predictions in May which only anticipated 11 - 17 named storms. Tropical Storm Franklin now causing problems in Mexico. As the peak of hurricane season approaches, NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place.

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