'Active' hurricane season ahead for Hampton Roads

NASA  Goddard Space Flight Center  MGN

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center MGN

Also, there is significantly less likelihood that the weather phenomenon known as El Nino will form.

NOAA is forecasting 14 to 19 named storms, an increase from the May forecast range of 11 to 17, and a slight increase of two to five major hurricanes from two to four. Of those hurricanes, between two and five are predicted to be major.

'Wind patterns that are conducive to storm development are now in place across the tropical Atlantic, ' Bell said.

So far, the season has already had six named storms, double what's typically expected by this point.

Get your hurricane preparedness kits ready, folks.

An average hurricane season in the Atlantic, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

One other factor fueling a more active hurricane season: The waters off the tropical Atlantic Ocean are warmer than usual.

"[The] updated outlook underscores the need for everyone to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge", said FEMA Administrator Brock Long in a news release.

The storm projection is based on atmospheric and oceanic conditions, the most recent model predictions and pre-and early-season storm activity. In the event the storm had hit Belize, it could have caused damage to the country's agricultural industry, which is still recovering from Hurricane Earl.

Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the coast from Veracruz city north to Cabo Rojo.

The new forecast puts the odds of an above-average season at 60 percent, up from the initial forecast of 45 percent in May.

"We're now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form", said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, in a statement.

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