Thursday 5th April, 2018 – The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released today from Colorado State University calls for the number of named storms and hurricanes to be slightly above historical averages, but less than last year.
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.
The CSU’s outlook is based on 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.
The odds are increasingly in favor for the development of a neutral state of El Niño or a weak El Niño by the heart of the hurricane season. In other words, according to Colorado State University, near average or slightly warmer than average water temperatures in the eastern Pacific are anticipated.
The chances of El Niño development climb toward the end of the season, according to the Climate Prediction Center, but neutral conditions are most likely during the peak of hurricane season, which occurs in September.
Klotzbach noted in the outlook that there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future state of El Niño.
Water temperatures in the Atlantic have a much more direct role in tropical cyclone development on our side of the continent.
The current water temperatures across the North Atlantic basin show cooler-than-average water temperatures in the far North Atlantic and in the eastern tropical Atlantic and warmer-than-average water temperatures off the East Coast of the U.S., Klotzbach points out.
Since early March there has been some slight anomalous warming across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic, Klotzbach notes. It remains a big question of what water temperatures will be in the North Atlantic during the peak of hurricane season.
Water temperatures of 80 degrees or higher are generally supportive of tropical storm and hurricane formation and development.
This was the second April outlook issued since the passing of Dr. William Gray, noted hurricane researcher and emeritus professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University.
Gray, who died in April of 2016, was the creator of the yearly Atlantic hurricane season outlooks, which have been published every year since 1984. He developed the parameters for these outlooks in the late 1960s, which was considered ground-breaking research at that time.
The names for the 2018 Atlantic Tropical Storms were also released. They are:
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie and William.