NOAA releases Atlantic hurricane season predictions, says it will be "near-normal"
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Prediction Center announced Friday that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will most likely be near-normal.
The season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
NOAA predicts that a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms, with four to eight of those becoming hurricanes including one to four major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 winds 111mph or higher).
According to Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, this year’s hurricane season was difficult to predict.
“This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it’s difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development,” Bell said.
"However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we’ve seen in the last three years, which were below normal.”
NOAA will also issue an updated prediction for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just before the peak of the hurricane season.