The federal government is getting more confident that this year’s Atlantic Ocean hurricane season will be mild.

The National Hurricane Center, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said Thursday there is a 90 percent chance that the Atlantic hurricane season will be “below normal.”

{mosads}Forecasters now believe there will be six to 10 named storms, one to four hurricanes and up to one major hurricane.

Thursday’s announcement updated a May forecast, predicting a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season.

The hurricane season began June 1 and will end Nov. 30. There have been only three named storms and no hurricanes.

The agency warned people not to underestimate risks based on the new predictions, however.

“Tropical storms and hurricanes can and do strike the United States, even in below-normal seasons and during El Niño events,” Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster in NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a statement.

“Regardless of our call for below-normal storm activity, people along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should remain prepared and vigilant, especially now that the peak months of the hurricane season have started,” he said.

The factors that went into Thursday’s update include the strengthening El Niño pattern, atmospheric conditions caused by El Niño that make it difficult for Atlantic storms to develop and below-average temperatures on the sea surfaces in tropical areas, NOAA said.

President Obama visited the National Hurricane Center in May for the release of its initial prediction for the 2015 season.

He used the opportunity to speak about the importance of climate change, which he said will exacerbate extreme weather like hurricanes. 

Tags hurricane National Hurricane Center National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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