National Hurricane Center Predictions

The prediction from federal forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests a 45% chance for an "above-normal" hurricane season, a 35% chance of a "near-normal" season and a 20% chance of a "below-normal" season.

Of the hurricanes, two to four could be major, with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or higher and rated as Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity. Two to four of those could become major hurricanes, with winds of 111 miles per hour or more, they said. His predictions are for 11-13 named storms with 1or 2 becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher).

The predictions for 2017 are just above the average, which is 12 named storms in a season. The Central Pacific hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.

The most active Atlantic hurricane seasons during recent years were 2010 and 2012. El Nino deters hurricane formation in the Atlantic by causing strong winds, and along with upper level wind shear, across the basin.

So far this year, one tropical storm has already formed in the Atlantic: Arlene, which spun harmlessly in the middle of the ocean in April. In September, Hurricane Matthew killed at least 585 people, majority on Haiti, making it the deadliest storm since Wilma. AccuWeather meteorologists forecast 10 named storms, five of which are projected to become hurricanes.

Last month, Colorado State University predicted the Atlantic would produce 11 named storms.

A weak or non-existent El Nino and above-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic is driving the above-average storm forecast, Friedman said.

NOAA will release an update to their forecast in August. The eastern Pacific storm season began May 15.

Separately, the USA also predicted 14 to 20 named storms would form in the eastern Pacific, mainly off Mexico.

Five to eight tropical cyclones are expected to impact the Central North Pacific basin, said Central Pacific Hurricane Center Director Chris Brenchley.

  • Larry Hoffman