The NOAA released the second Atlantic hurricane season outlook today. The first one gets issued in May. But the latest forecast ups the number of expected storms.
Why such an active season? The NOAA points to these reasons:
1. Exceptionally warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures (the third warmest on record)
2. Possible redevelopment of La Niña
3. Reduced vertical wind shear
4. Lower air pressure across the tropical Atlantic also favor an active season
Take the exact number of storms forecast with a grain of salt. Sometimes I have trouble forecasting a few days out. I'm not afraid to admit it. Even if there were 18 named storms this year, they could all head out to sea and miss the United States. Either way, it will be interesting to follow and see if the forecast checks out.