U.S. meteorologists have predicted the number of storms in the upcoming hurricane season will increase from years of below-average levels. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it saw a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour (63 kms per hour) or stronger. Between 4 to 8 of them could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or stronger, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or more. The estimate ends three years of below-average hurricane levels and is in line with other forecasters, who expect an increase due in part to the expected end of the El Nino weather phenomenon and the coming of La Nina. In 2015 there were 11 named storms, including four hurricanes, of which two were major, according to federal data. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. While a near-normal season is most likely with a 45 percent chance, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season, NOAA said.
From Reuters Photo Credit John Vlahakis