Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated hurricane forecast today. Overall, there wasn't much change and an above average season is still expected.
NOAA is predicting 14 to 20 named storms, with 6 to 10 of those becoming hurricanes and 3 to 5 of them becoming major. The confidence of an above average season came down slightly, from a 65% to 60% chance.
The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La-Nina that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon. An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons.
So far this season, there have been three named storms and the tropics have been quiet since early July.
The season normally ramps up in August, peaking September 10th.