The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) upgraded the number of named storms to 21 from its prior forecast of 15 in May.
NOAA expects at least ten hurricanes and up to five major ones with winds in excess of 100 mph.
"While the tropics have been slow the past few weeks, NOAA forecasters believe a busy hurricane season lay ahead," said Matthew Rosencrans, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the U.S. Climate Prediction Center.
By the mid-part of June, the hurricane season (beginning June 1) was already off to a busy start. Five storms have formed so far, but the dust storms rolling off Africa that intertwined into the jet stream and crossed the Atlantic most likely stymied tropical development over the last month. But with the traditionally hurricane-heavy month of August already underway and the dust diminishing, this may be a catalyst for a significant uptick in storms in the second half of the month.
Aug. 20 and Oct.1 is statistically the busiest part of the hurricane season, with a peak around Sept. 10.
Last year, a record 30 storms were recorded, with several major ones striking Louisiana.
On Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center marked two areas for tropical development, one in the Atlantic Basin and the other inland over Africa.
While it's not unusual for the hurricane season to have a quiet period between July to early August, the threat is that a tick-up in storms could be imminent.