WASHINGTON — Government meteorologists say this year's hurricane season may be busier than initially expected now that summer's weak El Nino has faded away.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center released information today that the Atlantic season looks more active than normal as peak hurricane season begins. Forecasters now expect 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones.

In May, they forecast a normal season, one or two fewer named storms and hurricanes.

Forecaster Gerry Bell says the end of El Nino means more hospitable hurricane conditions. El Nino is the periodic warming of parts of the Pacific that affects weather worldwide and dampens storm activity.

Hurricane season is June through November. So far, there have been two named storms, with one hurricane.

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