A normal 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is the most likely outcome this year
- Published: Thursday, 31 May 2018 12:14
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 40 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be a near-normal season. The chance of an above-normal season stands at 35 percent; and there is a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
NOAA’s forecasters also 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 (category 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. 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.
In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. An 80 percent chance of a near- or above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of 14 to 20 named storms, of which 7 to 12 are expected to become hurricanes, including 3 to 7 major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of 3 to 6 tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.
NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.