The National Weather Service has updated their predictions for this hurricane season and they have upped the number of predicted storms.

NOAA forecasters say they expect a total of 12 to 17 tropical storms, with as many as five to eight hurricanes. Two to three of storms could become major hurricanes.

Dr. Jerry Bell is the lead NOAA hurricane forecaster, who says wind patterns conducive to storm formation and warmer-than-normal sea temperatures heighten the frequency chances.

He says, “This is a lot of activity, and we still have a long way to go with this season.”

State Climatologist Dave Robinson says in the weather history of New Jersey we have had storms in June and July give us some rain. He also points out that Irene last year was at the end of August, and Floyd was at the end of September.

So far this year there have been four tropical storms and two hurricanes. Tropical Storm Ernesto is currently headed into Mexico’s southern Gulf coast.

The season runs from June 1st to November 30th.