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Above-Average Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted for 2018

Florida Hurricane Insurance

Weather forecasters are predicting a busier than usual hurricane season in 2018. Hurricane researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) are anticipating an above-average number of tropical storms this year on the Eastern seaboard. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th.

Researchers are predicting 14 tropical storms in 2018. Seven of them are expected to have a wind speed of 74 miles-per-hour (mph) or higher, which is the threshold for hurricane status. Three of the seven hurricanes are expected to swell to a Category 3 or higher, with winds reaching 111 mph or more.

Coastal residents especially need to be prepared. It only takes one hurricane to reach the coastline to make it an active season. Last year, in 2017, CSU had predicted 11 tropical storms with four becoming hurricanes. However, there were 17 named tropical storms; 10 of them met the criteria for hurricanes and six of them were considered major hurricanes, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which devastated Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Six months later, the power in Puerto Rico is still not fully restored.

The CSU tropical storm predictions offered major hurricane probability statistics. There is a:

  • 63 percent chance for the entire U.S. coastline
  • 39 percent for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula
  • 38 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville
  • 52 percent for the Caribbean

The CSU team bases its forecasts on over 60 years of historical data, including:

  • Sea surface temperatures
  • Sea level pressures
  • Vertical wind shear levels (the change in wind speed and direction with atmospheric height)
  • El Ni├▒o (warming of the waters)
  • And other factors.

So far, the 2018 Hurricane Season is looking similar to 1960, 1967, 1996, which all had near-normal Atlantic hurricane activity, as well as 2006 and 2011, which were both above-normal seasons. The team predicts that the tropical storm activity in 2018 will be about 135 percent of an average season. The CSU weather forecasting team will update its predictions on May 31, July 2 and Aug 2.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to announce its forecast in May.

Lanier Upshaw provides important information on hurricane emergency preparedness to help you protect yourself, your loved ones and your property. If you would like more information on how Lanier Upshaw can help you be prepared for a hurricane or other disaster, contact us here.