NOAA confirms Atlantic facing 'extremely active' hurricane season

Conditions are in the Atlantic are primed to fuel an “extremely active” season, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre, the division of the US National Weather Service. The organisation says its latest forecast is one of the most active in its 22-year history.

In its annual August update to the hurricane season outlook, NOAA is urging preparedness as the area enters the peak months for hurricane development -- a season that has already seen a record-setting nine named storms so far and might become one of the busiest on record.

An average season produces 12 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).

“This is one of the most active seasonal forecasts that NOAA has produced in its 22-year history of hurricane outlooks. NOAA will continue to provide the best possible science and service to communities across the Nation for the remainder of hurricane season to ensure public readiness and safety,” said US secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross. “We encourage all Americans to do their part by getting prepared, remaining vigilant, and being ready to take action when necessary.”

NOAA's updated outlook calls for 19-25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 7-11 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 3-6 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This update covers the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends 30th November, and includes the nine named storms to date.

Image: Hurricane Katrina radar image: NOAA

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