The Weather Channel is predicting a very active 2018 Hurricane Season.
The group led by Dr. Phil Klotzbach calls for another busy season with a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. This is just above the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Though the official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November, occasionally we can see storms form outside those months, as happened last season with April’s Tropical Storm Arlene.
The CSU outlook is based more than 30 years of statistical predictors, combined with seasons exhibiting similar features of sea-level pressure and sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans.
Here are three questions what this outlook means.
What Does This Mean For the U.S.?
There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season. One or more of the 14 named storms forecast to develop this season could hit the U.S., or none at all. Therefore, residents of the coastal United States should prepare each year no matter the forecast.
A couple of classic examples of why you need to be prepared each year occurred in 1992 and 1983.
The 1992 season produced only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane.
In 1983 there were only four named storms, but one of them was Alicia. The Category 3 hurricane hit the Houston-Galveston area and caused almost as many direct fatalities there as Andrew did in South Florida.
In contrast, the 2010 season was active. There were 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic Basin.
Despite the large number of storms that year, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States.
In other words, a season can deliver many storms, but have little impact, or deliver few storms and have one or more hitting the U.S. coast with major impact.
The U.S. averages one to two hurricane landfalls each season, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division statistics.
In 2017, seven named storms impacted the U.S. coast, including Puerto Rico, most notably hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which battered Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, respectively.
In 2016, five named storms impacted the Southeast U.S. coast, most notably the powerful scraping of the coast from Hurricane Matthew, and its subsequent inland rainfall flooding.
Before that, the number of U.S. landfalls had been well below average over the previous 10 years.
The 10-year running total of U.S. hurricane landfalls from 2006 through 2015 was seven, according to Alex Lamers, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service. This was a record low for any 10-year period dating to 1850, considerably lower than the average of 17 per 10-year period dating to 1850, Lamers added.
Bottom line: It’s impossible to know for certain if a U.S. hurricane strike, or multiple strikes, will occur this season. Keep in mind, however, that even a weak tropical storm hitting the U.S. can cause major impacts, particularly if it moves slowly, resulting in flooding rainfall.
Check out the rest of the article at The Weather Channel.