NOAA increases forecast for hurricane season

Potential Cyclone 7

Potential Cyclone 7

They are calling for a total of 14 to 19 named storms, five to nine of them becoming hurricanes. Based on that and other factors, Colorado State University last week increased its seasonal forecast to 16 storms, eight of which could become hurricanes and three major systems. And while unsafe winds can threaten life and property, heavy rains form storms can help crops, as was the case with Tropical Storm Emily last month.

In the southwest Gulf of Mexico today Tropical Storm Franklin continues marching westward and is forecast to become a category 1 hurricane as early as tonight.

Numerous storms could steer harmlessly over the open ocean, but having more storms usually means more threats to the coastline.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Wednesday updated its outlook for the Atlantic, noting a higher chance for an "above-normal" hurricane season.

Franklin, the first hurricane of the Atlantic's season, was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h) and was about 105 miles (170 km) northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Keep in mind we are a month away still from the statistical peak of the hurricane season. El Niños, a warming of the sea surface in the Pacific, tend to prevent storms from strengthening. NOAA updates their outlook in August before the most active part of hurricane season, which is between August and October. A tropical storm warning extended east to Puerto Dos Bocas and north to Barra del Tordo in southern Tamaulipas state.

In September 2013 Mexico was struck nearly simultaneously by hurricanes Ingrid in the east and Manuel in the west, leaving some 157 dead in the southern state of Guerrero. This would make Franklin the first hurricane of 2017 in the Atlantic Ocean basin. Also, we are heading upslope in the season, this means that we are approaching the time when, statistically, there are more storms developing or occurring.

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