US forecasters see busy rest of hurricane season

August 4, 2011 - 12:30 PM

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. government forecasters say the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season is likely to be busy, with an above-average number of storms.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters said Thursday they expect up to 19 named storms to develop by the end of the season Nov. 30. There have been five so far.

Seven to 10 of the forecast storms could become hurricanes.

The six-month Atlantic hurricane season began June 1, but the peak period for hurricanes runs from August through October.

The lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in Washington says key climate factors support forecasters' expectations. Those factors include exceptionally warm ocean temperatures and the possible redevelopment of La Niña, a weather phenomenon that reduces wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic.