As we enter the peak of hurricane season, forecasters are expecting a slightly active Atlantic.
Preseason forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration originally predicted 9 -15 named storms, 4-8 hurricanes and 1-3 major hurricanes. The latest outlook increased these numbers to 12-17 named storms, 5-8 hurricanes, and 2-3 major hurricanes.
This does include the six storms that have already been named, two of which, Chris and Ernesto, having become hurricanes.
NOAA's slight increase is due to the fact that El-Nino is developing more slowly.
El-Nino is a weather pattern that increases winds across the tropical Atlantic Ocean. These strong winds reduce storm development. The impact from El-Nino won't happen until later in the season.
Keep in mind that these numbers tell you nothing about where the storms will go, and it only takes one direct hit to make it a bad season.
The 2010 hurricane season ended with 19 named storms, none of which hit the U.S.
There were only seven named storms in the 1992 season, but that year produced the category five Hurricane Andrew that slammed into south Florida.