The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has updated its forecast for the 2012 tropical season. Including our six already-named storms, the following includes their most recent predictions, as well as their previous prediction in May.
On Aug. 9, NOAA predicted
• 12 to 17 named storms, including:
• Five to eight hurricanes, of which:
• Two to three could be major hurricanes (Category 3+).
In May, before the beginning of the 2012 season, they predicted:
• 9 to 15 named storms, including:
• Four to eight hurricanes, of which:
• One to three could be major hurricanes (Category 3+).
The average tropical season, according to NOAA, calls for:
• 12 named storms, including:
• Six hurricanes, of which:
• Three could be major hurricanes (Category 3+)
“We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions are linked to the ongoing high activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early-season activity is generally indicative of a more active season.”