SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The National Hurricane Center released its annual August update to the ongoing hurricane season. It was originally predicted to be an overly active season, that risk seems to only be increasing.
The season already has been record breaking with nine named storms so far. Normally, we only have two named storms by early August. A typical season produces 12 named storms total, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes through the end of November.
The new update predicts a total of 19 to 25 named storms, of tropical storm strength or higher, with 7 to 11 of those becoming hurricanes, and 3 to 6 of those becoming major hurricanes of Category 3 or above. NOAA said this is “one of the most active seasonal forecasts… in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks.”
This prediction includes the nine named storms we’ve already had.
This overactive season prediction is due to the oceanic and atmospheric conditions that are perfect for hurricane formation, like warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, weaker air currents near the Earth’s surface that blow from the west to the east in the Atlantic near the equator, and the possibility of a La Niña developing in the next several months. A La Niña means sea surface temperatures in a region of the Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal, which can actually allow storms to develop and intensify over the Atlantic.