NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s one month away from the peak of hurricane season, and things haven’t been too active around the U.S.
Despite a seemingly quiet start, NOAA updated its Atlantic hurricane season prediction Thursday morning and increased the number of anticipated storms.
Now, NOAA predicts 14 to 21 named storms, up from 12 to 17 from the initial forecast in May.
Of those named storms, six to 11 could become hurricanes, with two to five becoming major hurricanes with winds of more than 111 mph.
Colorado State University also updated its numbers last week.
It is predicting 18 named storms, including the ones that have already hit this season. That’s up from the 13 the university predicted in April.
Nine of those named storms could become hurricanes, and four could become major hurricanes.
So, why did both forecasts increase from near-normal to above-normal activity, especially since El Nino’s development?
Typically, an El Nino conditions should suppress hurricane activity due to increased wind shear.
However, record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures are counteracting El Nino’s vertical wind shear, allowing for some development.
There has been five storms so far — the first one happened in January. That storm was a subtropical storm that made landfall in Nova Scotia. Since then, there has been Arlene, Bret, Cindy and Don. Don has been the only hurricane, and didn’t make landfall.
As we enter the rollercoaster into peak season, it’s important to note that even though forecasters are predicting an above-average season, that does not mean we’ll have a high number of landfalls. Let’s recall the 2010 hurricane season, when there were 12 hurricanes, yet none of them made landfall in the U.S.