Forecasters Lower Predictions as Hurricane Season Begins

FLORIDA, United States, Friday June 1, 2018 – A day before today’s official start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs until November 30, forecasters from the Colorado State University (CSU) issued a revised outlook, lowering their predictions and suggesting it may be an average season.

They are now expecting 14 named storms and six hurricanes, with two of those being major, slightly off from their previous outlook which indicated there would be 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The forecasters, led by Phil Klotzbach, said there is a 41 per cent probability of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean.

“We have decreased our forecast and now believe that 2018 will have approximately average activity,” the team said.

“We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

Before the official start of the season, Alberto formed as the first storm, causing the deaths of at least four people in Cuba, caused widespread flooding and infrastructural damage in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean nation, and left many communities cut off and tens of thousands of people without electricity.

The latest forecast is close to what is considered an average season of 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major hurricanes. In 2017, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. It was the fifth most active season since 1851.

According to the forecasters, although climate models continue to suggest a low chance of an El Niño developing, the Atlantic this year is cooler than normal. They say the pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies observed during May is the opposite of what would be associated with an active Atlantic hurricane season, with cool anomalies in the deep tropics and far northern Atlantic and warm anomalies in the subtropics.

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