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NOAA revising forecast for hurricanes upward for the rest of 2016 season

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) The 2016 hurricane season started off quickly when hurricane Alex developed in January, and then four others since then with Earl being the latest.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is revising its seasonal forecast upward due to several factors. They are now calling for a strong chance that the rest of the season will be an active one.

They are predicting 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 8 hurricanes with 2 to 4 of those becoming major ones with winds above 110 mph. The main reason for the increase is due to the fading of El Nino.

With the warming of the east Pacific going away, there will be less shear in the atmosphere which should be favorable for tropical cyclone development.

Models are also suggesting more tropical waves coming off west Africa as the monsoonal season kicks into high gear. Each year there are about 60 tropical waves which come off the coast of Africa and move into the east Atlantic. Of those 60, usually only 10 develop into tropical systems.

There are two limiting factors which should keep the season from becoming extreme like we saw in 2004: Cooler than average Atlantic temperatures and a bit more shear in the Caribbean are expected through the season.

Bob Harrigan

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