August 9th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

NOAA raises prediction for named storms

The Atlantic Ocean may have a couple more named storms this year than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initially predicted, the group said Thursday.

NOAA now predicts 12 to 17 named storms, up from the nine to 15 it predicted shortly before the June 1 start of hurricane season. Six named storms, including the current Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto, have been produced so far.

For the Atlantic Ocean, a normal season would produce 12 named storms (with top sustained winds of at least 39 mph), including six hurricanes and three major ones.

NOAA also adjusted its predicted hurricane range, to five to eight (up from four to eight). Two to three of those should be major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 (with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph) or higher, NOAA says.

“We are increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season because storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures are now in place in the Atlantic,” said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions are linked to the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. Also, strong early season activity is generally indicative of a more active season.”

NOAA scientists raised the ranges despite their belief that El Nino - unusually warm temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean - should develop in August or September. El Nino suppresses storm development, but Bell said that wasn't expected to have an influence until later in the hurricane season.

“We have a long way to go until the end of the season, and we shouldn’t let our guard down,” said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  “Hurricanes often bring dangerous inland flooding as we saw a year ago in the Northeast with Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Even people who live hundreds of miles from the coast need to remain vigilant through the remainder of the season.”

Read more:

Tropical Storm Ernesto nearing 2nd landfall 

NASA study links extreme weather, climate change

What's behind major flood disasters throughout Asia? 

FEMA: Have a plan for hurricane season

Could you survive a weather disaster?

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. LOL

    This just in: Insurance companies in Florida just received a 12% increase in premiums from the Republican lead Florida Congress even though Florida hasn't been hit with a hurricane in 7 years.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • SV

      There ya go...the Republican party looking out for the middle class again.


      August 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Keel Hauler

      Tell me about it. Citizens Insurance, the last-resort source for home insurance in Florida, just got that hike approved. Republican Governor Rick Scott has failed to protect us Florida residents once again. That's going to mean $60 more a month for me in escrow payments for the same lousy insurance.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      The forecasters are always wrong, but the insurance companies use it to boost their rates.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeaux Bleaus

      Yeah, and they'll still be in a financial hole for the next 10 years after paying for the losses incurred in the past 15 years. Duh.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Family Show, Family Vehicle

      That's debatable.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • us_1776

      Insurance in Florida is a complete scam.

      Non of the insurers has the requisite assets to payout should it be necessary.

      And the raise rates through the roof and then turn around and payout all this money as massive salaries and bonuses.

      You and your neighbors would be better off signing a mutual protection agreement and contributing into a mutual pool than giving money to these insurance companies. When the big ones hit these insurance companies just go bankrupt and don't pay out anyhow.


      August 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard

    More fear mongering which will just lead to higher insurance rates, higher fuel prices and more global-warming-climate-change nonsense. The past several years have been very quiet, so eventually, things will change.

    August 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • susie

      You didn't notice the 'heat' this past July?? Oh right, 90% of the scientists are wrong!!

      August 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnCain

      Regardless of if you deny the opinions of scientists, you can't deny that storms (and droughts) have been getting worse...We are talking hard facts, like temperatures, number of storms, rainfall, etc. It is a shame that you are so brainwashed by your political party that you are loosing touch with reality.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike S

    Funny, every year they predict more and more hurricanes and their "educated" guesses always seem to fall short. Kinda like the boy that cried wolf or even chicken little. NOAA must be afraid they are going to lose funding or something. When in doubt, follow the money...

    August 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • harriet

      What are you talking about. Why don't you go have a look around Mike; there must be a fact around there someplace

      August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. susie

    Gas is already going up. this should encourage higer prices. thanks NOAA! Besides, you are acting a little like "Chicken Little".

    August 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NY Veteran

    Stop! There is no correlation between global warming and man's polluting of the planet. George W. Bush gathered the most compassionate conservative scientists from across the south and determine that when we are up to our necks in water, it will be because god hates gays, liberals, and non republicans. The fact that they all drown too is irrelevant becuase they are going to heaven with harps and wings for the Christian version of 73 virgins.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeaux Bleaus

      "Stop! There is no correlation between global warming and man's polluting of the planet."

      If you'd have stopped there you could have appeared to actually have a clue.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dscon

      george w obama is in charge now.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      There is a COMPLETE correlation between Climate Change (only the GOP still calls it "Global Warming" ... thank Michelle "I make up my own facts" Bachman) and mankind's impact on the environment. Take a look at a satellite image of Antartica. The Ross Ice Shelf, 12,000 year old ice, is GONE. For the first time in recorded history, there's actually a Northwest Passage due to the Artic Ice melting at an ever increasing rate. North American glaciers that are more than 12,000 years old, are receeding at an ever increasing rate. The CO2 concentrations are higher now (380 ppm and climbing) than at any time in the past 440,000 years ... and that INCLUDES Ice Ages. So get off the Party Line and actually listen to the scientists that have done tha math ... and stop listening to the Mouthpiece of the GOP, Rush Limberger ... what an Ultra Maroon ...

      August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SlammerBC

    Every year they predict this and every year its way shy of their prediction. One of these years they'll guess right and will say "We told you storms have increased because of GW"

    August 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • harriet

      Why do you clowns keep saying that? The predictions are pretty good actually.

      Next you'll be using that other data-free ruse of "people are saying...."

      Facts schamcts, right?

      August 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Spencer Shaw

    You all complain of them fear mongering, but its not NOAA; its CNN. They release their outlook to update the public on what they are thinking will happen in the season, and CNN turns it into "Atlantic hurricane season expected to get worse". That is not at ALL what NOAA said. If you look at their range of numbers, it has been right the past couple of years (even though some of you think they are wrong because you don't actually look you just assume). They change the numbers to update you, not to win anything. They havent been wrong in a while, and won't be this year. Like I said, all of you who say they are always wrong are morons, because you obviously haven't looked at the numbers or forecasts.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • bandit109

      Thank you Spencer, I'm glad somebody out there is able to spend the 2 minutes it takes to look up predictions from past seasons and see that they turned out pretty good. Though, I think part of the confusion is that people seem to think that these predictions are for the number of storms that will hit the US, not the number of storms that will actually form.

      August 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. susie

    time to vote Scott out of office.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobsyard

    These predictions are total nonsense. Shame on you NOAA.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. patrick

    Try paying for flood insurance, I have a 1% of ever having a flood, however FEMA wont allow me to drop it because i have a mortgage almost 1000 dollars a year for what...a joke

    August 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dscon

    "goverment forcasts"
    boy that just makes it laughable.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DanInRealLife

    CNN, those pictures of Ernesto hitting Mexico sure don't look very devastating to me. Quit hyping up everything just to increase your ratings.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WhackyWaco

    Good. It will help the drought situation.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cleat

    hmm- the last time they predicted a "heavy" season we got exactly ZERO...

    August 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JohnRJohnson

    As our weather patterns become more and more extreme do to the effects of human activity on the climate, it will be interesting to watch the response of the religious right and the Tea Party's anti-science loons. The planet is going through a climatological meltdown and these people are playing ostrich in a hurricane.

    August 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
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