The National Hurricane Center has officially released its prediction for this upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, and it is active. The center is calling for 13-20 named storms, and 7-11 Hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes to form this year.
Forecasters say the reason for the highly active forecast is the fact that the ocean waters should be warmer than average in the Atlantic and Caribbean enough to support several storms through a good portion of the six month period. Forecasters also are anticipating environmental winds to be weak in the areas where the storms will form and track. Weak environmental usually lead to stronger tropical systems.
Last year the National Hurricane Center originally called for a near-normal year towards the end of May. Then, in August, the center raised its forecast to a near or above-normal year, calling for a good chance of 12 to 17 named storms. Their forecast verified with 19 named storms. Last year the center also called for five to eight storms making it to hurricane status. Last year ten were confirmed as hurricanes for at least a portion of their life cycle.