Atlantic hurricane season starts today - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1


June 1 marks the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, which will continue through November 30. Looking at long-term data, on average, 12 storms will be named, six of which normally become hurricanes. Three could become major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Arlene, the first storm of the year in the Atlantic, formed back in April. The following images show the 2017 outlook as well as the names for the rest of the season.


(Source: NOAA)

(Source: NOAA)

The upcoming hurricane season is predicted to be above normal. Forecasters said there is a 70 percent chance that 11 to 17 named storms develop. Five to nine of those are predicted to be hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher. Out of those, two to four could become major hurricanes.

Forecasters predict the spike in hurricanes will be due to the weaker El Nino, as well as weaker wind shear. Wind shear is the change in wind speed or direction over a short distance. Having those two factors tend to result in an increase of hurricanes. Warmer sea surface temperatures also fuel hurricanes, but at this time, climate models cannot determine whether the temperatures will be warmer than average.

NOAA announced it will use new tools to forecast the storms and it hopes to give more advance warning if these storms threaten the United States. 

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