NOAA raises forecast of storms for rest of hurricane season

GULF OF MEXICO — U.S. forecasters are raising their estimate of potential storms in the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, which enters its peak period this month.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its updated forecast today. Forecasters say wind patterns conducive to storm formation and warmer-than-normal sea temperatures mean chances are higher for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA forecasters say they expect a total of 12 to 17 tropical storms, with as many as five to eight hurricanes, for the season from June 1 to Nov. 30. Two to three of storms could become major hurricanes.

So far this year there have been four tropical storms and two hurricanes.

In May, forecasters had predicted nine to 15 tropical storms, with as many as four to eight storms strengthening into hurricanes.

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