The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s storm prediction exceeds other forecasters for the Atlantic hurricane season.
NOAA expects 12-18 named storms, 6-10 expected to become hurricanes with winds in excess of 74 mph, and 3-6 predicted to become major hurricanes, category 3, 4 or 5 with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, explains that the hurricane weather pattern continues to be in a very active era that dates back to 1995.
Ccontributing factors for increased hurricane activity are:
• Above-normal ocean temperatures for this hurricane season, which begins June 1.
• La Niña conditions in the Pacific are expected to weaken, but still continue to reduce wind shear, which is an atmospheric event that can break-up or reduce the intensity of hurricanes.
NOAA’s prediction is the highest for this season, exceeding three other weather service predictions issued for the season.