LOUISIANA (KPEL News) - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has updated its 2023 hurricane season forecast, dramatically increasing the number of storms we could be seeing in the Atlantic.

NOAA's new forecast suggests we're a lot more likely to be facing an "Above Normal" hurricane season. In May, the NOAA forecast called for a 30 percent chance of an "Above Normal" season. However, as of Thursday morning, that projection was increased to 60 percent.

So far this season, the Atlantic has been somewhat lively, but there have been no threats to the Atlantic coast or the Gulf of Mexico. There have been four named storms so far - Arlene, Bret, Cindy, and Don - but none have had an impact on the U.S.

That could change, however, as we get into the second half of August and near the peak of the typical hurricane season.

“The main climate factors expected to influence the 2023 Atlantic hurricane activity are the ongoing El Nino and the warm phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, including record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures,” Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in NOAA's Thursday forecast. “Considering those factors, the updated outlook calls for more activity, so we urge everyone to prepare now for the continuing season.”

More from NOAA:

El Nino conditions are currently being observed and there is a greater than 95% chance that El Nino will continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter, according to the latest ENSO discussion from the Climate Prediction Center. El Nino usually results in atmospheric conditions that help to lessen tropical activity during the Atlantic hurricane season. So far, those limiting conditions have been slow to develop and climate scientists are forecasting that the associated impacts that tend to limit tropical cyclone activity may not be in place for much of the remaining hurricane season.

A below-normal wind shear forecast, slightly below-normal Atlantic trade winds and a near- or above-normal West African Monsoon were also key factors in shaping this updated seasonal forecast.

Above-average sea temperatures play a part in the forecast. This year has seen some of the highest temperatures on record globally.

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