MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.
This year, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is predicting an above average season with 11 to 17 storms and five to nine storms becoming hurricanes.
This forecast is slightly above the 30 year average of storms in the Atlantic.
NOAA expects the increase in activity to be from a weak or non-existent El Nino in the equatorial waters of the Pacific. El Nino is an above average warming of waters in the equatorial zone.
An increase in water temperature in that part of the world typically creates higher wind shear in the Atlantic, which in turn suppresses storm formation.
With a weak or non-existent El Nino, storm formation is more likely.
The meteorology department at Colorado State University also produces a hurricane forecast each year as well and this year their prediction is slightly below average.
Their forecast is based on the potential development of an El Nino and a recent trend of cooling waters in the Atlantic.
It will be interesting to see which forecast prevails. Either way, hurricane season is almost here.