Franklin expected to become Atlantic's 1st hurricane of the season

NOAA calls for an extremely active season ahead; updated forecast

NOAA updates Atlantic hurricane forecast -- now expects up to 19 named storms

An average hurricane season produces 12 storms between June 1 to November 30.

Forecasters now say there is a 60 per cent chance of an above-normal season. Forecasters are now predicting that an above-normal season is more likely, and they've increased their predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida issued a Tropical Weather Outlook at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, due the presence of two systems that could become tropical cyclones and impact Florida.

"Conditions are already setting up to produce a lot of activity", said Gerry Bell, a research meteorologist and NOAA's lead hurricane season forecaster. The first, Tropical Storm Franklin, is approaching Mexico.

Just as forecasters call for a busier hurricane season than usual there's a storm now strengthening in the Atlantic that's likely to be the seventh tropical cyclone of the year. The new prediction ups the odds for a blustery, extremely active hurricane season - and possibly even the most active since 2010.

A storm surge of 4 to 6 feet is possible near and north of the center along the eastern Mexican Bay of Campeche coast late Wednesday night and Thursday morning, before water levels subside after that, according to the National Hurricane Center. Of those, eight could become hurricanes and three major systems with winds of 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour or more.

Ocean temperatures are above average, providing plenty of fuel for the convection at the center of storms, and wind shear, which tends to cut off storm development, is low.

NOAA said the busier forecast reflects lowered chances of El Nino forming.

Federal scientists have upgraded the chance for an active hurricane season this year. Cindy made landfall on June 22 at the Louisiana-Texas border and Emily struck July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Fla. Franklin is predicted to make landfall in Mexico overnight as a hurricane. Of the five to nine, between two and five are expected to be classified as "major hurricanes", meaning Category 3 or higher.

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