NOAA increases named storm prediction for 2017 hurricane season

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association updated its predictions for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, increasing the number of predicted storms to between 14 and 19. 

Predictions released in May put the number of possible named storms between 11 and 17, but NOAA says the number of early-season storms is one indicator of how active the Atlantic hurricane season could be.

NOAA added this season could be the most active since 2010.

Forecasters raised the chance of an above-normal season from 45, reported in May, to 60 percent, with 14-19 named storms and two to five major hurricanes, which was predicted between two and four back in May.

NOAA's prediction for between five and nine total hurricanes remains unchanged from the initial May outlook. 

The Lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Dr. Gerry Bell says conditions in the Atlantic and Caribbean are "very conducive to an above-normal season," adding there is little chance of an El Nino forming, which would help prevent storms from forming.

Bell says warmer than predicted waters in the tropical Atlantic could help fuel more storms, as well.

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

NOAA says an average Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts, as we move into the peak of hurricane season.