Miami, Fla. -
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has raised its prediction for the umber of hurricanes it is predicting for this year to 12-17 named storms and that of those, 5-8 will become hurricanes and that 2 or 3 will become major hurricanes, category 3 or higher.
The revision is up from its previous prediction of 9-15 storms for the 2012 tropical season that started June 1.
NOAA's lead forecaster Jerry Bell also said that the chance of an above-normal season has rose to 35%, a normal season has 12 named storms with six of those becoming hurricanes.
The increase has been attributed to wind patterns that support storms and sea surface temperatures are higher than were once predicted in May.
NOAA is expecting an El Niño to come back sometime mid fall, but are unsure of how strong it will be. A stronger El Niño will help reduce the number of storms and hurricanes.