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NOAA now calling for an above-normal hurricane season in revised outlook

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows a view of Hurricane Ida, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Forecasters warned residents along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to rush preparations Saturday ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Ida, which is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph (209 kph), life-threatening storm surge and flooding rain when it slams ashore in Louisiana on Sunday. (NOAA via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We are approaching the most active time of the year in the Atlantic hurricane season. Normally, the month of August is a time period when tropical activity ramps up before the peak of hurricane season in September.

In 2023 so far, there have been a total of storms in the Atlantic basin. Only 4 of them were named since an unnamed storm occurred in January which was added upon reanalysis.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) had an original outlook going into hurricane season predicting an average season. This outlook was revised a few days ago, and now is calling for an above-normal season to be likely.

The CPC has increased its original forecast of 12-17 named storms to 14-21. Named storms weren’t the only category to be increased. 6-11 hurricanes are now forecasted, of which 2-5 could become major hurricanes.

Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39-73 mph, while hurricanes have winds of 74 mph or greater. Major hurricane intensity is reached when sustained winds reach 111 mph or greater.

What factors go into a hurricane season outlook?

There are many factors that go into a hurricane season outlook. This year there are two major pieces in play. Forecasters now have the belief that the record warm sea-surface temperatures will have a slightly bigger impact than the ongoing El Nino climate pattern in the Atlantic. Typically in an El Nino pattern, wind shear increases across parts of the Atlantic Ocean which limits tropical activity.

Right now across the Atlantic Ocean, there is not any tropical activity expected in the 2 days. However, in the 7-day forecast, there will be a few tropical waves coming off of Africa to watch. The next named storm to form will take the name “Emily.”

Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Be sure to visit WISH-TV for updates throughout the season.