WASHINGTON - This Atlantic hurricane season may not be quite as busy as federal forecasters once thought, but they still warn of an unusually active and potentially dangerous few months to come.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its hurricane season forecast Thursday, trimming back the number of hurricanes they expect this year to between six and nine. That's a couple less than they predicted back in May.
The forecast calls for three to five of those hurricanes to be major, with winds greater than 110 mph. The updated forecast also predicts 13 to 19 named storms this year. Both of those predictions are just one less forecast three months ago.
The chance that 2013 will be busier than normal remains at 70 percent. A normal year has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major storms.
"Make no bones about it, those ranges indicate a lot of activity still to come," said lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Md.
Hurricane season starts in June and runs until the end of November, but peak hurricane season runs from mid-August to mid-October.
So far, there have been four named storms, the last one being Tropical Storm Dorian. Four storms in June and July is more than normal, when usually there are just one or two, Bell said.