A new study predicts that warmer waters in the Atlantic Ocean will continue to increase the number of major hurricanes.
The study, published in the journal Science, was based on research carried out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.
Researchers say each hurricane season is likely to produce five to eight major hurricanes by 2100.
In 2017, six major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic.
Three of them – Harvey, Irma and Maria – made landfall.
The storms hit parts of the United States and Caribbean, causing loss of life and an estimated $265 billion in damages.
Since 2000, the Atlantic has averaged three major hurricanes a year.
Before that, the average was closer to two.
So far this year, only one Atlantic hurricane, Florence, reached major strength.
The new study used a computer modeling system developed by NOAA to simulate different climate conditions.
Researchers say they were able to correctly predict the active hurricane season in June 2017.
Additional experiments showed that the main driver of the 2017 hurricane activity was a much warmer Atlantic Ocean.
Hiroyuki Murakami was a lead researcher on the study.
He is also a climate scientist and hurricane expert at NOAA.
He says the climate simulation system is an effective tool to help estimate current and future storm activity.
“This new method allows us to predict hurricane activity as the season is happening,
as well as take into consideration the likely contribution of climate warming,” Murakami said.
“We will see more active hurricane seasons like 2017 in the future,” he added.