By: Jaryd Brady, Special to Naples Herald
Early predictions call for an active 2018 hurricane season, but not quite as devastating as 2017, according to a new prediction released Thursday by the Tropical Meterology Project at Colorado State University.
The forecast predicts that there will be 14 named storms with 70 storm days, seven hurricanes with 30 hurricane days and three major hurricanes – Category 3 or worse — with seven major hurricane days.
“We anticipate that the 2018 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly above average
Activity,” said Phil Klotzbach, the report’s lead author. “Coastal Residents should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”
The prediction of another active hurricane season comes following a devastating 2017 season, where there were 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes, including six major hurricanes of Category 3 or above. Two of those storms, August’s Hurricane Harvey and September’s Hurricane Irma, were the first major hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland in 12 years.
When Hurricane Irma came ashore over Marco Island on Sept. 10, it was just miles away from the spot where 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, the last major storm to hit the U.S. before Harvey, made landfall.
Researchers claim that because the odds of El Nino are low, and the warm waters in the western Atlantic are high, another busy hurricane season will be coming.
“The current weak La Niña event appears likely to transition to neutral ENSO over the next several months, but at this point, we do not anticipate a significant El Niño event this summer/fall,” researchers said.
Researchers claim that the probability of at least one major (Category 3-5) hurricane making landfall on the entire continental U.S. coastline is 63 percent, 11 percentage points higher than the average over the last century.
The annual forecast is based on 29 years of data and an updated forecast will be released on May 31. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center will release its initial seasonal outlook in May.
“The early April forecast is the earliest seasonal forecast issued by Colorado State University and has modest long-term skill when evaluated in hindcast mode,” researchers said. “The skill of CSU’s forecast updates increases as the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches.”
2017’s first forecast released by Colorado State in April called for 11 named storms and just four hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
2018 HURRICANE SEASON NAMES
Alberto Helene Oscar
Beryl Isaac Patty
Chris Joyce Rafael
Debby Kirk Sara
Ernesto Leslie Tony
Florence Michael Valerie
Gordon Nadine William
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