Government forecasters are now predicting an above-average final few months of hurricane season, with more frequent storms.
The latest outlook comes after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had earlier forecast a normal season prior to its start in June.
The Atlantic Ocean now has a 45-percent chance of experiencing an above-normal hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30, NOAA announced on Thursday, Aug. 8. The chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20 percent. (See the second image above.)
The end of El Niño has led to conditions more favorable for hurricane activity, according to NOAA.
So far this year, two named storms have formed. Forecasters are now predicting 10 to 17 named storms through Nov. 30. Named storms hit wind speeds of more than 39 miles per hour.
Five to nine of the named storms will become hurricanes, including two or four major hurricanes, with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or greater, NOAA said.
“Today’s updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared,” said Pete Gaynor, acting FEMA administrator. “We urge everyone to learn more about hurricane hazards and prepare now, ahead of time, so that if state and local authorities announce evacuations in advance of a storm, you and your family will have planned where to go and what to do to stay safe.”
NOAA had earlier forecast a normal season in May. The first day of hurricane season was June 1.
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