NOAA is forecasting a near to above average 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season (see Fig. 1). This is coming off of the heels of an above average season last year for the Atlantic, which featured 17 named storms. Of those 17 named storms, 10 were hurricanes. Factoring into the NOAA forecast are the possibility of a weak El Nino and near average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs). Research shows these two factors can be favorable for the genesis of tropical cyclones.
NOAA’s forecast calls for 10-16 named storms with 5-9 of these named storms being hurricanes. Their forecast is similar to Colorado State University’s (CSU) forecast from a few weeks ago, which calls for 14 named storm and 7 hurricanes. The 30-year average (1981-2010) for named storms is 12 and the 30-year average for hurricanes is 6.
Fig. 1: 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
Please keep in mind, regardless of the number of named storms, it only takes one landfalling storm to cause tremendous impacts. Currently, Firsthand Weather is keeping a close eye on the Gulf of Mexico for the potential of the first tropical cyclone of the year. See the latest HERE!