Early Forecast Predicts Above-Average 2018 Hurricane Season

The 2018 Hurricane Season Could Be As Eventful As 2017, According To Forecasters

While above the long-term average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, this forecast is quieter than 2017, which had 17, 10 and six, respectively.

Colorado State University scientists have predicted a more active Atlantic storm season this year, which is likely to result in seven hurricanes, three of them major, with an above normal probability of a U.S. landfall by a major hurricane.

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June through November.

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The CSU team will issue forecast updates on May 31, July 2 and August 2.

The forecast is based on an extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that was developed using 29 years of past data.

The next CSU seasonal forecast will be issued on May 31, and the report noted that its forecast accuracy increases as the peak of the season approaches in September.

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"Last season had near-record warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic", said Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University. The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past month and the far North Atlantic is relatively cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. Gulf Coast residents living between the Florida Panhandle and Brownsville, Texas, have a 38 percent chance of seeing landfall of a major hurricane, above average the past half-century 30 percent average again.

Buckle in, South Carolina, researchers say the East Coast should prepare for an above-average hurricane season. Over in the Pacific, a weak La Nina is fading and the equatorial region should fall to its neutral state with no guarantee it will warm.

By summer, forecasters should have a better indication of how much wind shear to expect and whether the entire Atlantic is heating up.

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The 2018 list of storm names will be the same as 2012's, with the exception of Sandy, which was retired and replaced with Sara. "If we knew exactly where it was going to hit it would be a lot easier, but it isn't", said Fugate said.

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