NOAA releases 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

NOAA releases 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast

NOAA is predicting an above average hurricane season for 2017. (Source: WECT) NOAA is predicting an above average hurricane season for 2017. (Source: WECT)
NOAA - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - released its 2017 Hurricane Season forecast for the Atlantic Basin Thursday. (Source: FEMA) NOAA - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - released its 2017 Hurricane Season forecast for the Atlantic Basin Thursday. (Source: FEMA)

NOAA - the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - released its 2017 Hurricane Season forecast for the Atlantic Basin Thursday.

The NOAA forecast reflects slightly above-average tropical storm and hurricane activity. An average Atlantic Hurricane Season produces 12 total named storms, of those 6 hurricanes, and of those two major hurricanes.

The forecast calls for the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean itself to give rise to 11 to 17 total named storms. Of those, NOAA says 5 to 9 will become hurricanes and 2 to 4 will become major (Category 3 or higher) hurricanes.

Patterns of sea surface temperature and upper-level winds are expected to bolster storm output in 2017 and, what's more, one subtropical storm has already formed this year ("Arlene" was a deep Atlantic subtropical storm in April).

In addition to the forecast, NOAA also unveiled some changes to future predictions and advisories.

A new high-resolution satellite, GOES-16 (formerly known as GOES-R) was launched into orbit in November and is expected to be fully operational later this year.

This satellite has a resolution four times more powerful than previous satellites and also has a much quicker frame period.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) will also be issuing Storm Surge advisories, as storm surge is known to be the most destructive and deadly weapon in a hurricane's arsenal. 

Regardless of expected numbers of storms, people in hurricane-vulnerable areas, like the Cape Fear Region, are always advised to prepare for and stay alert during Hurricane Season.

History shows that the total number of Atlantic storms doesn't correlate with the total number of high-impact hurricane landfalls. #ItOnlyTakesOne storm where we live to matter!

Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1 through November 30.

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

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