NOAA Forecasters Predict ‘Extremely Active’ 2017 Hurricane Season
MACON, Georgia. (41NBC/WMGT) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its August update for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters are now predicting a higher chance for an above average season and note the potential for an ‘extremely active season’ which may ‘be the most active since 2010.’
Forecasters are now predicting 14-19 named storms. An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, in which 6 become hurricanes. Of those 6 hurricanes, 3 typically develop into major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).
NOAA typically releases a seasonal outlook every year in May with updates throughout the season. Earlier this year, forecasters predicted a 45% chance of above-normal season with 11-17 named storms and 2-4 major hurricanes. In the August update released today, the chance of an above-normal season increased to 60% with 14-19 named storms and 2-5 major hurricanes possible. The only parameter that hasn’t changed since May is the number of hurricanes: 5-9 total.
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Since the 2017 season began on June 1, there have been 6 named storms. Franklin became the first hurricane of the 2017 season this afternoon. It is expected to make landfall in eastern Mexico overnight.
The month of August marks the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. The late summer and early fall months are when most tropical systems form due to warmer water in the Atlantic Ocean.
Coastal residents need to continue to monitor the latest forecasts and develop a hurricane safety plan. Some ways to prepare include planning where to go for protection, gathering a safety supply kit, setting up emergency alerts and communicating with family.