NOAA: Increase In Named Storms

Tropical storm Emily, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, may have dissipated for now, but it’s important to remember that we’re approaching the peak months for storm activity.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center yesterday issued its updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, raising the number of expected named storms from its pre-season outlook issued in May.

NOAA now expects 14 to 19 named storms, up from its earlier forecast of 12 to 18, while the expected number of hurricanes also increased to 7 to 10 (from 6 to 10).

The confidence for an above-normal season has increased to 85 percent, from 65 percent in May.

In the words of Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center:

The atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean are primed for high hurricane activity during August through October. Storms through October will form more frequently and become more intense than we’ve seen so far this season.†

The Atlantic basin has already produced five tropical storms this season: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don and Emily. Tropical Storm Don quickly disintegrated after making landfall  in southern Texas July 29.

The last hurricane to make landfall in the United States was Ike in 2008.

Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on hurricanes.

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