SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued their seasonal outlook for the 2016 hurricane season, which starts on June 1st, calling for a 'near-normal' Atlantic tropical season with 10 - 16 named storms, including 4 - 8 hurricanes and 1 - 4 major (category 3 or greater) hurricanes.
El Nino, that produced a lot of wind shear in the Atlantic basin last year, is forecast to continue to weaken over the next several months, lending to more of an La Nina to emerge.
La Nina typically causes lower wind shear in the tropical Atlantic. This, coupled with warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures, may cause an uptick in activity this year versus the 2015 season.
In April, Drs. Gray and Klotzbach of Colorado State University forecast a 'near-normal' year for tropical activity in the Atlantic basin; they are calling for 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Dr. Klotzbach will have an updated forecast on June 1st.
The 2016 season actually began with Hurricane Alex in January of this year, forming near the Azores. The next storm, that could form as early as this weekend, would be named Bonnie.
The seasonal forecasts are not forecasting landfalling systems along the US coastline, but rather how many storms that may form in the Atlantic basin over the season, which runs until November 30th.
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