2018 Hurricane Prediction: Seasonal Forecast from Colorado State University
In 2017, after a record drought, the U.S. and neighboring countries experienced three hurricanes (Irma, Maria, and Harvey) ranked among the top five costliest in history. According to the Colorado State University’s seasonal forecast released on Thursday, 2018 will experience an above-average hurricane season as well. Atlantic hurricane season is just two months away and lasts through November, with most storms occurring between mid-August and mid-October.
CNN reports that seven of the 14 storms forecast for 2018 are expected to develop into hurricanes, while 3 are expected to develop into major hurricanes. While this forecast of storms is above average, it’s still expected to be slightly less than last hurricane season, which consisted of 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and six major hurricanes.
The near-record warmth in tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures contributed to the surge in activity in 2017, especially in terms of major hurricanes. As of now, the western tropical Atlantic is warmer than average, while areas like the eastern tropical Atlantic are cooler than normal.
Phil Klotzback, a research scientist at Colorado State University said, “As of now, I don’t see anything in the immediate future that would cause sea surface temperatures to warm up dramatically. However, there is certainly still time for this to occur, which is one of the biggest challenges with issuing forecasts this early.”
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