A near-normal tropical season is expected in the Atlantic Ocean this year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its official outlook for the hurricane season with 9-15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes expected.
A tropical cyclone is named once is becomes a tropical storm with 39 mph winds. Once winds reach 74 mph, the cyclone becomes a hurricane. Once winds reach 111 mph, the cyclone becomes a major, or category 3 hurricane.
There are typically 12 named storms each season in the Atlantic, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30, with the peak of hurricane season in September.
While hurricane season officially begins on June 1, tropical systems can form prior to the official start of hurricane season. This year, the first storm of the season was Subtropical Storm Andrea, which developed on May 20.
El Nino, warm waters and African monsoon
Three factors went into the hurricane outlook from NOAA. An ongoing El Nino is expected to produce storm systems that track across the Caribbean and Atlantic and help disrupt tropical systems.
Despite an ongoing El Nino, warm water in the Atlantic and Caribbean will aid the development of tropical systems, in addition to an African monsoon.