Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Here's what we can expect for the 2018 hurricane season

Here's what we can expect for the 2018 hurricane season

Thursday, it forecasted a 75-percent chance that the season will be near or above normal. But the start of summer also signals the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Bell said there's a 70 percent probability that the season's hurricanes will fall within the forecast range.

Brace yourself for the 2018 hurricane season - it's going to be more active than usual, though less intense than last year's.

Here's what we can expect for the 2018 hurricane season
Here's what we can expect for the 2018 hurricane season

In May of 2017, for example, NOAA predicted 11-17 named storms and 5-9 hurricanes, of which 2-4 would become major hurricanes. "We can not predict how many of these storms will actually make landfall", he cautions. If El Ni o does not develop and water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea warm up, that could fuel more storm development, said Bell, who was speaking at NOAA's aircraft operations center in Lakeland, Florida.

For perspective, the rare 2017 season saw 17 named storms (winds higher than 39 mph), six of which were major hurricanes of Category 3 or above, like hurricane Harvey and Irma past year.

NOAA touted its sophisticated technology, "from next-generation models and satellite data to new and improved forecast and graphical products", to forecast storms and help the public make informed decisions.

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Last year, NOAA correctly predicted it would be an above-average hurricane season.

"There's no strong climate signal saying it's going to be extremely active, like previous year, or extremely weak".

"Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development through early next week, and a subtropical or tropical depression is likely to form by late Saturday over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico".

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This season's forecast calls for 10 to 16 named storms, which means tropical storms or hurricanes. There's just a 25 percent chance that the season will be "below normal". The latest monster in the Atlantic is Hurricane Maria, which mushroomed into a Category 5 storm with rare 175 miles per hour winds before slamming into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 behemoth, causing massive destruction and knocking out power to the entire island.

One to four of those hurricanes could be "major" with threatening winds blowing at at least 111mph. The federal agency, which oversees the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, expects 10 to 16 tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic basin this year.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria also spread a wide path of destruction previous year.

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