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More dynamic Atlantic hurricane season forecast

Posted On: May. 22, 2017 4:28 PM CST

The 2017 hurricane season in the North Atlantic basin will be more active than originally expected, with an expected total of 14 named storms, seven of which will reach hurricane strength, with three of those becoming major hurricanes, The Weather Company, an IBM Business said Monday.

The weather forecasting company said in its second seasonal forecast that these figures include Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed in April. This is an increase from the original forecast in April which called for 12 named storms, six of which would reach hurricane strength, with two major hurricanes. 

The company said that the current forecast is higher than the long-term norm of 12 named storms, seven of hurricane strength, and three major hurricanes, but down slightly from the recent “active period” of 1995-2016 with norms of 15 named storms, eight of hurricane strength, with three major hurricanes.
 
“There has been a clear trend over the past month toward warmer North Atlantic ocean temperatures,” Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company, said in a statement, “and a less bullish view on El Niño development/magnitude, both of which favor a more active 2017 Atlantic tropical season than originally thought.” 

Mr. Crawford added that “the big North Atlantic blocking in May has favored continued increases in Atlantic water temperatures, which suggests that we may need to move our numbers up a bit more in our June update.”