MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is still forecasting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season as we head into the most active months of the season.
NOAA issued a mid-season update and is now forecasting 15 to 21 named storms, including 7 to 10 hurricanes, of which 3 to 5 may become major hurricanes.READ MORE: Hurricane Preps
An average hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The updated outlook includes the five named storms which have formed so far, with Hurricane Elsa becoming the earliest 5th named storm on record. Back in May, NOAA predicted 13 to 20 named storms, 6 to 10 Hurricanes and 3 to 5 major hurricanes.
“After a record-setting start, the Atlantic 2021 hurricane season does not show any signs of relenting as it enters the peak months ahead,” said Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA administrator.
NOAA is forecasting a 65% likelihood of an above-average hurricane season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season and a 10% chance of a below normal season.READ MORE: Hurricane News
“A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Current Atlantic sea surface temperatures remain close to normal and are not expected to be as warm as they were last year during the 2020 record-breaking season.
However, less vertical wind shear and an enhanced west Africa monsoon are conditions that can increase cyclone development and hurricane activity. In addition, the ongoing warm phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation has been favoring more active hurricane seasons since 1995.
Regardless of predicted storms, residents in South Florida should be aware it only takes one and now is the time to prepare and have a plan in place.MORE NEWS: Tracking The Tropics
August through October tend to be the busiest months in the season with mid-September being the peak of the Atlantic season.