The seasonal outlook from NOAA issued on May 27, 2010 forecasts an “active to extremely active” hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year.
The season officially begins today, June 1. NOAA is forecasting a 70 percent probability of:
14 to 23 Named Storms
8 to 14 Hurricanes (74 mph or higher)
3 to 7 Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5)
The long-term seasonal average is 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes.
Conditions are fairly good for the formation of hurricanes. El Niño has dissipated so wind shear is reduced. Wind shear is destructive to hurricanes and is what suppressed hurricanes during the 2009 season. Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperatures are above average and are expected to remain so for the rest of the season. Warm surface seawater is the "fuel" that powers hurricanes. Sea surface temperatures are at record highs, 4 degrees F above average for this time of year.