Hurricane forecast gets bump to 17 named storms

Image by NASAImage by 20080806hurricane_edouard.jpg Tropical Storm Edouard and its ilk signaled a busy start to the hurricane season, prompting forecasters to raise expectations. Still, NOAA's report is due out on Thursday and may think differently.

The premier hurricane forecasters have upped their forecast to 17 named storms, including five intense hurricanes. Colorado State University forecasters William Gray and Phil Klotzbach increased the forecast by two more named storms, including one more intense hurricanes (those are storms with winds over 11 mph).

Hurricane forecast image
NASA Read more stories on this subject in our hurricane season topic page.The new forecast means this year's season is expected to be 50% more active than average. An "average" season has some 11 named storms, only two of which are intense.

A Sun-Sentinel blogger does some good digging into the report, an exerpt:
The forecast was bumped up because of warm sea surface temperatures and low sea level pressures in the Atlantic. Further, an active July indicates conditions for storm development are ripe, the forecasters said.

You can read the full 41-page report for yourself.

Historically, the forecast has only had a 61% correlation to how many storms there actually were, still the increase in the forecast is a strong indicator that busy times are ahead.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to update its hurricane forecast on Thursday.