The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts below-average storm
activity for the six-month 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, which
officially begins June 1.
The forecast calls for six to 11 tropical storms
with three to six reaching hurricane status (winds above 74 mph) and two
reaching major hurricane strength (winds topping 111 mph).
In an average year, the Atlantic, the Caribbean
and the Gulf of Mexico experience 12 named tropical storms, six hurricanes and
three major hurricanes, NOAA said.
Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. The season's first storm, Tropical Storm Ana, came ashore in North Carolina
earlier this month.
A strengthening El Nino is the main reason
forecasters predict a quiet season.
El Nino, characterized by unusually warm
temperatures in the equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean, changes global
wind patterns that create unfavorable conditions for the formation of
NOAA's forecast did not say whether any of the
storms are likely to make landfall in the U.S.