U.S. households along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should start reviewing their hurricane supply list, that’s because NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be near- or above-normal.
NOAA’s 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook gives a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season, which extends from June 1 to November 30.
NOAA forecasters predict a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale Categories 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.
The possibility of a weak El Nino developing, along with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are two of the factors driving this outlook, NOAA says.
These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.
NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.