(WRDW/WAGT) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has increased the likelihood of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season. The latest update was issued early Thursday morning.
The latest outlook predicts 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, and 2-4 major hurricanes.
The first outlook issued in May forecast a 30% chance of an above-average season, but the recent update has increased that chance to 45%.
El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean have ended, which is one of the reasons forecasters have increased the chance of an above-average season. The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has returned to neutral conditions and will likely stay neutral through the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season that ends November 30th. El Nino conditions usually inhibit hurricane development in the Atlantic Basin, so now that ENSO has returned to neutral, tropical waves will have favorable conditions to develop into named storms.
This outlook is only predicting the development of tropical systems and is not a landfall forecast. The Atlantic hurricane season peaks between August and October and is currently underway.