ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are expecting a 70 percent chance that there will be 11 to 17 named storms in this year's Atlantic Hurricane Season.
They think that five to nine could become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or higher. They predict two to four major hurricanes. That means Category 3, 4, or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher.
"The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., of NOAA.
An average season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes, three of those major hurricanes.
The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
NOAA will update this outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.