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More hurricanes predicted this season in Atlantic Ocean

Staff Writer |
Meteorologists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center said today that the Atlantic Ocean could face another hurricane season above normal this year.

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According to experts from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for the already-initiated Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, they forecast a 45 percent chance of a season above normal.

In addition, they forecast a 35 percent chance of an almost normal season, and only 20 percent below normal.

Regarding the phenomena that can occur, a probability of 70 percent of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 62 kilometers per hour or more) are expected, of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 119 kph or more); forecasts also include the formation of two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, winds of 178 kph or more).

An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

The estimates reflect our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Niño phenomenon, near or above average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and an average or lower than average wind shear in the same region, explained Gerry Bell, lead scientist of NOAA's Seasonal Hurricane Outlook Team.

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