2017 Atlantic hurricane season to be most active since 2010, NOAA says

WASHINGTON (WTVD) -- Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting that the Atlantic hurricane season will be "extremely active" in 2017.

On Monday, the organization said they're predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, adding it could be the most active season we've seen since 2010.

Forecasters are now saying there is a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season compared to the May prediction of a 45 percent chance, with 14 to 19 named storms and 2-5 major hurricanes.

"We're now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in a news release. "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. This is in part because the chance of an El Nino forming, which tends to prevent storms from strengthening, has dropped significantly from May."

Credit: NOAA

Bell said warmer waters across the tropical Atlantic added to the increase in storms this season.

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In the first nine weeks of the season, scientists said there have been six named storms, which is half the number of storms during an average six-month season and double the number of storms that would typically form by early August.

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

"Today's updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge," said FEMA Administrator Brock Long in a news release. "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."

Credit: NOAA

So far, the Atlantic basin has seen six named storms: Arlene in April; Bret and Cindy in June; Don and Emily in July; and Franklin in August.

However, only two of these storms, Cindy and Emily, struck the United States.

Cindy made landfall on June 22 at the Louisiana-Texas border and caused heavy rain, inland flooding, and multiple tornado outbreaks. While Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Scientists predict Franklin will make landfall in Mexico overnight Monday as a hurricane.

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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