The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released an updated outlook for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
The update includes an increase to the number of possible named storms in the forecast.
The organization attributes the potential for a more active season to the end of El Niño.
The new outlook calls for 10-17 named storms of which 5-9 could become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes.
“El Niño typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in a statement. “This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year.”
According to NOAA, on average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane season outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.