Is 2018 on Track for a Bigger Than Average Storm Season?

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With Memorial Day quickly approaching, hurricane season is almost upon us. Last year Texas was rocked by one of the most devastating hurricanes this country has seen, so there’s no doubt that everyone will be watching the radar this year. In preparation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued some predictions for the 2018 Atlantic season.

Essentially, forecasters are predicting a 35% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season and a 25% chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season.

NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70% chance that there will be 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mile per hour or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher).

Note that an average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. An 80% chance of a near-normal or above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions:

  • The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70% 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% probability of 3 to 6 tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.