Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its hurricane season forecast, but it is still expected to be an active season.
The Atlantic hurricane season has produced four named tropical storms so far this year, but that number may increase very soon as we head into the heart of hurricane season.
"We don't usually have to worry too much about anything big until about mid-August all the way until early October," said Dr. Cary Mock.
Dr. Mock is a professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina and he says the weather environment is getting much better for tropical development than it was earlier this season.
Mock said, "The conditions show that the water is warmer than normal and the dust off of Africa is settling down."
According to Mock, we are also heading into a period where the atmospheric circulation in the Atlantic is more conducive to tropical activity.
"It is roughly like a 40-60 day cycle, so we are coming into a cycle where all of this activity is spreading east," said Mock.
"All of this activity is spreading east into the Atlantic part, so that is going to help it become more active in the near term," according to Mock.
Currently, there are two areas of interest the National Hurricane Center is watching one in the Caribbean and the other off the African coast.
However, it way too earlier to tell if any of these systems will impact us or anyone for that matter.
In the mean time, Mock says we should be monitoring the tropics even here in the Midlands since it has been so wet this summer.
"The thing that I think is particularly important for us, is it doesn't take a strong system to impact us right now because of all this rain," said Mock.
NOAA is forecasting a 70% chance of seeing 13-19 named storms, 6-9 hurricanes, with 3-5 of those hurricanes becoming major ones.
To be considered a major hurricane, the storm has to have winds of 111 mph or higher.
Hurricane season runs through November 30th.