The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) raises its forecast for hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean to “above normal.”

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season may be worse than initially thought.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration raised its forecast from “near normal” hurricane activity to “above normal.”

Meteorologists made the adjustment, citing warm surface water temperatures and a persistent El Niño.

“Given these factors, the updated forecast calls for more activity, so we urge everyone to prepare now for the ongoing season,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The latest update means that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects between 14 and 21 named storms in the six-month season, which ends on November 30. A storm must have winds of at least 39 mph to be named.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says up to five of the storms could develop into major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or more. The agency notes that this does not necessarily mean that storms will reach land.

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“A storm’s landfall is typically the result of mesoscale weather patterns and is typically predictable within approximately one week of a storm approaching a landfall,” NOAA said in a statement.

So far this season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified five tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean. Last year, there were 14 named storms.

The worst of these came at the end of the season when Hurricane Ian formed in September. It made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. It killed 156 people and caused $113 billion in damage.

Places like Fort Myers Beach are still in recovery mode.

“Total devastation – everything you know – that I knew when I was a kid riding my bike all the time. You know, all the landmarks are gone; all the houses are gone,” Fort Myers Beach resident Graham Pilger said.

Climate scientists say that as humans warm the planet, hurricanes will change. While the initial number of storms may not change, the data shows they are getting stronger.

“Hurricanes are likely to produce more rain, about 2 to 10 percent. They are likely to have more intense winds, about 3 to 11 percent. The storm surge associated with them is likely to be larger because as sea levels rise, we “It will set the backdrop for more storms in coastal areas,” said NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center chief hurricane forecaster.

While there is no forecast for how many hurricanes will hit land this season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is urging people to prepare, get emergency supplies, and make a plan ahead of time.

“Last year, we had eight hurricanes that formed after September 1. So the message now is to push to prepare now while it’s calm,” Rosencrans said.

See more: What does prolonged ocean warming mean for our weather?

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(Tags for translation)Hurricane Season 2023

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