The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a US environmental research agency, and their subsidiary National Hurricane Center is responsible for monitoring and naming the year’s hurricanes. Experts are now warning current conditions of the atmosphere have increased the likelihood of an above-normal hurricane season by 45 percent. August through to October is known to be peak hurricane season on the Atlantic.
According to a recent report, as well as predictions for an above-normal hurricane season this year, the agency predicts a greater number of storms will hit in 2019.
Storms with winds estimated between 39 and 73mph are classed as named storms, and the agency is currently predicting 10 to 17 of these, with five to nine having the potential to become hurricanes.
Two to four of these hurricanes are currently predicted to become major hurricanes, meaning winds of 111mph or greater.
The Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms on average, with 6 becoming hurricanes – and three being classed as major.
READ MORE: Hurricane Erick NOAA warning: Massive storm moves towards Hawaii
Acting NOAA administrator, Neil Jacobs, Ph.D, said: “NOAA will continue to deliver the information that the public depends on before, during and after any storms throughout the hurricane season.
“Armed with our next-generation satellites, sophisticated weather models, hurricane hunter aircraft, and the expertise of our forecasters, we are prepared to keep communities informed to help save lives and livelihoods.”
NOAA also announced the end of El Nino, a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean, which impacts on the state of the weather.
Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center said: “El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead.
“This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year.”
Hurricane season is thought to likely continue until November, having started on July 25 this year with Hurricane Alvin.
The most recent system was Hurricane Erick, which charged towards Hawaii with winds topping 130mph as a category four system.
READ MORE: Hurricane Erick NOAA latest: Hurricane to SMASH Hawaii in 24 hours
Hurricane Barry also passed through the US in July this year, affecting states like Louisiana and Arkansas.
According to the Associated Press, the rising levels of the Mississippi River is a continued cause for concern to residents of New Orleans, Louisiana, in the midst of hurricane season.
The area was once devastated by the category five major Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which is thought to have killed 1,833 people.
With the exception of Monday, the Mississippi River has been at more than 11 feet above sea level for a shocking 292 days.
Jeff Graschel, with the National Weather Service’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center told AP: “I would assume major problems on the river if we had a high river with a Katrina event.”
NOAA’s National Hurricane Centre (NHC) names the year’s hurricanes in alphabetical order.
For Atlantic hurricanes, the 2019 names are:
Eastern North Pacific names are: