The Atlantic hurricane season looks to be slightly less active than had originally been predicted. Instead of the original prediction of 13-17 named storms with 7-10 becoming hurricanes, the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction rests at 13-16 named storms and 7-9 becoming hurricanes. The original estimate of 3-5 “major” classified hurricanes has remained the same. A “major” hurricane has winds of over 110 miles per hour.
There is no specific prediction as to where and when the storms could strike. The narrow range of activity since May is evidence of the development of a cooler sea surface in the eastern Atlantic and a weaker-than-expected La Niña (the unusual cooling of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures and known to trigger widespread weather changes around the world).
A “greater than 50 percent” chance exists that the La Niña weather anomaly will form during the peak of hurricane season, according to NOAA. However, U.S. weather forecasters have recently lowered their hurricane outlooks as a result of the cooler-than-expected ocean surface temperatures.