NOAA updates hurricane season forecast, still calls for an active season

Hurricane Season Predictions for 2011The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated their forecast of this year’s hurricane season. The original outlook was issued in May in which the agency noted that the current season would be more active than usual. Several major storms have already formed in the Atlantic Ocean, with some making landfall in Florida and Texas. None have cause any major damage, thus far, but that may change during this month as NOAA predicts as many as five category 3 hurricanes to form offshore.

According to Gerry Bell, Ph.D., the lead seasonal forecaster for the Climate Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, the Atlantic Ocean is “primed for high hurricane activity.” This heightened activity will begin in August and last until October. Bell expects that the storms in October will be more frequent and more destructive than those seen so far this season.

NOAA’s original forecasts were supported by 65% certainty that this season would host major activity. As the agency updates its predictions, their confidence in their forecasts has risen to 85%.

So far, five tropical storms have formed off shore. Of those, tropical storm Emily continues to gain momentum and show signs of developing into a major hurricane as it approaches the U.S. Insurance companies continue to keep a wary eye on the sea, as any major disaster could pose severe losses that could shake the nation’s insurance industry as a whole.

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