Atlantic hurricane season will remain above-normal, NOAA says in updated predictions

By Payton Major and Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologists

    (CNN) -- This Atlantic hurricane season is still expected to be above-normal, forecasts released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State University show.

Though this season has been less active until now compared to the last two seasons, both NOAA and Colorado State expect it to become the seventh consecutive above-normal hurricane season.

NOAA's latest projections call for a 60% chance of an above-normal season. Its forecast calls for 14 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), a slight decrease from the seasonal outlook forecast of 14 to 21 released in May. The forecast includes the three named storms that have already formed this season: Alex, Bonnie and Colin.

Of predicted named storms, forecasters believe six to 10 will be hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher) and three to five will be major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).

NOAA's previous outlook showed a 65% chance of an above-normal season, with six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes.

"While we are now two months into the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, about 90% of all hurricanes and 95% of major hurricanes in the Atlantic occur after the 1st of August, on average," said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State.

An average Atlantic hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. The season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Colorado State's Tropical Meteorology Project team update calls for 18 named storms this hurricane season -- one lower than it forecast in April but four more than the annual average.

Of the 18 total predicted storms -- which also include the three names already used this season -- eight are expected to become hurricanes, and four are expected to become major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher.

"One reason for (the) reduction in Atlantic seasonal hurricane forecast from CSU is due to development of below-normal sea surface temperatures in subtropical Atlantic," Klotzbach said. "When the subtropical Atlantic is cooler than normal, it can sometimes favor increased shear in the tropical Atlantic."

The probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the US coastline is now 68%, well above the average of 52% for the past century, according to the Colorado State report.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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