NOAA: Atlantic Hurricane Season Looking Worse than Before

This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its 2017 hurricane season outlook, and the agency is now predicting more major hurricanes.

NOAA says "the season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010."

That year, there were five hurricanes in October alone.

When NOAA first made its hurricane season predictions in May, it predicted a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season. Now, it puts the chance of an above-normal season at 60 percent. NOAA predicts 14 to 19 named storms and two to 5 major hurricanes.

“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, PhD.

The lead hurricane season forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center explains that the change in the prediction is because the chance of an El Nino forming has dropped significantly. El Nino tends to prevent storms from strengthening.

In the first nine weeks of the season, there have already been six named storms. That's double the number that would usually form by early August.

“Today’s updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “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.”

Bay Bulletin