NOAA Updates Hurricane Forecast

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday slightly lowered its forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season but said it still expected “above normal” storm activity this year.

NOAA predicted the six-month season, which began on June 1 and is now entering its peak period, will spawn 13 to 19 named storms. Six to nine of the storms are expected to become hurricanes, with three to five developing into major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

In May, NOAA predicted up to 20 named storms, with up to 11 possibly strengthening into hurricanes and six to major status.

Forecasters at the Colorado State University also recently updated their forecast, predicting eight hurricanes and three major ones. CSU said in a previous forecast it expected nine hurricanes, with four them strengthening to major status.

Four named storms have formed so far this year, although none of them have strengthened into hurricanes.

An average season brings 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

The forecasts do not indicate how many storms might make landfall.