Based on several changes in the climate, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that it is now calling for an above normal hurricane season.
El Nino, when the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean are warmer than usual, typically suppresses the formation of storms in the western Atlantic. But NOAA said in a press release that El Nino has ended.
NOAA hurricane forecasters are now calling for 10 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher. The organization is calling for five to nine of them to become hurricanes and for two to four to become major storms of category 3 or higher.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season already has produced two named cyclones, tropical storms Andrea and Barry.
On average, the season — which peaks on Sept. 10 — produces 12 named storms and six hurricanes, three of which become major cyclones.
"Today's updated outlook is a reminder to be prepared," acting FEMA director Pete Gaynor said in the press release.
The National Hurricane Center website is reporting that no cyclone formation is expected within the next five days.