(Reuters) – The Atlantic hurricane season is poised to deliver another round of above-normal storms for the seventh year in a row, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Tuesday.
NOAA’s forecasters predict 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 10 will be hurricanes, and three to six of which will develop into major hurricanes during the June 1 to November 30 season.
A tropical storm produces sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour, a hurricane has winds of at least 74 mph, and major hurricanes pack winds of at least 111 miles per hour and can cause devastating damage.
Climate change is raising sea temperatures, which has led to more destructive storms, say forecasters. This year̵7;s warmer sea temperatures than the average in the Atlantic and the Caribbean and crosswind patterns also point to a storm season above average, said NOAA
NOAA’s demands for an above-average storm season follow the prospects of Colorado State University, which last month predicted 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
The American forecasters estimate a chance of 65% for a season above normal, 25% for an almost normal season and a 10% chance for a season below normal.
An average season generates 14 named storms and seven hurricanes. NOAA increased these figures for a normal season last year after a recalculation, citing improved satellite monitoring and climate change.
Last year’s 21 named Atlantic Storms cost about $ 80.6 billion in insured damages.
Forecasters said that unusually high temperatures, warmer-than-average seas that provide energy to tropical cyclones and the ongoing weather pattern in La Nina, which is expected to last this season, all affected the outlook.