Franklin gaining hurricane strength as it draws bead on Mexico's Gulf coast

Wake Up Wiregrass Forecast for August 8

Wake Up Wiregrass Forecast for August 8

The tropical Atlantic is about 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, which can spur on hurricane development, Bell said.

There are also lower chances of an El Nino forming, which means storm risk is higher, and so far, all of NOAA's predictive models are indicating a stronger than usual season.

An average hurricane season produces 12 storms between June 1 to November 30. While Emily made landfall on July 31 in Anna Maria Island, Florida.

The Atlantic Ocean now faces a higher likelihood of an "extremely active" hurricane season with more storms than previously predicted, United States forecasters warned Wednesday, updating the previous outlook issued in May.

The storm will produce drenching rainfall of up to 8 inches, life-threatening flash flooding, hurricane-force winds and storm surge of 2 to 4 feet within the warned area.

This year's Atlantic hurricane season is now expected to be more active than forecasters initially thought, according to an update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday (Aug. 9).

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While NOAA has bumped up the chances of an average hurricane season, it doesn't tell the entire story. These numbers include the six named storms that have occurred already this season - including Tropical Storm Franklin.

Franklin has strengthened into the Atlantic's first hurricane of 2017 in the Bay of Campeche. The El Niño Southern Oscillation refers to the variation of wind speeds and sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Pacific off the coast of South America.

This forecast will translate to an extremely active season, perhaps most active since 2010. The statistical peak of the season is September 10.

The storm took aim at Mexico's central Gulf coast after a relatively mild run across the Yucatan Peninsula.

"Additional strengthening is expected, and Franklin is forecast to become a hurricane later today and reach the coast of Mexico as a hurricane tonight or early Thursday", the NHC said.

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