Weather Co. Updates Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

May 22, 2017

In its second seasonal tropical forecast for the North Atlantic basin for the 2017 season, IBM’s The Weather Co. said it now expects a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes, a slight increase in activity from its forecast in April.

In April, the firm predicted 12 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes

The new numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed in April.

The current forecast numbers are more than the long-term 1950-2016 normals of 12/7/3 but slightly fewer than the recent “active period” (1995-2016) normals of 15/8/3.

According to Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Co., there could be more increases in the numbers ahead.

“There has been a clear trend over the past month towards warmer North Atlantic ocean temperatures and a less bullish view on El Nino development/magnitude, both of which favor a more active 2017 Atlantic tropical season than originally thought,” Crawford said. “Dynamical model forecasts are also more aggressive this month relative to last. The big North Atlantic blocking in May has favored continued increases in Atlantic water temperatures, which suggests that we may need to move our numbers up a bit more in our June update.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service are scheduled to announce their initial outlook for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season this Thursday.

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