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Revised NOAA forecast predicts 10 hurricanes


WASHINGTON—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a slightly more active Atlantic hurricane season than expected, with a high probability of up to 19 named storms and 10 hurricanes forming, the agency said Thursday in a revised forecast.

“The atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean are primed for high hurricane activity during August through October,” Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement. “Storms through October will form more frequently and become more intense than we’ve seen so far this season.”

NOAA in May forecast up to 18 named storms. It projected six to 10 could become hurricanes, and in its recent forecast said seven to 10 have a high probability of becoming hurricanes.

The agency’s updated forecast says three to five of the storms will likely become major hurricanes, slightly fewer than the prediction in May that three to six would grow that strong.

The Atlantic basin has already produced five tropical storms this season, with Emily continuing to develop.

NOAA said in its revised forecast that the possible redevelopment of a La Niña weather pattern could contribute to increased storm activity during the hurricane season, which runs through November.

On Wednesday, the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University issued an update that left its earlier forecast intact, calling for 16 named storms to form during the 2011 season.

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