The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be above normal in terms of activity, NOAA announced last week in its annual forecast of activity. NOAA scientists forecast 11 to 17 named storms, with five to nine of them becoming hurricanes and two to four becoming major hurricanes. The historical average is 12 named storms.
In a statement, NOAA's Gerry Bell said, "The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region."
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, though this year saw the first storm (Tropical Storm Arlene) develop in mid-April.