While not as brutal as 2017, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is anticipated to be more active than historical averages with regards to the number of named storms and hurricanes, according to a forecast released this week by forecasters.
Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project forecasted a slightly above average season, with 14 named storms, or storms with winds stronger than 39 mph. The Tropical Meteorology Project, a brainchild of the late hurricane guru Bill Gray, is considered among the best in hurricane research.
Out of the 14 named storms, 7 of those would become hurricanes, with winds at 74 mph or stronger.
And, 3 of those would become major hurricanes that could be potentially catastrophic storms with winds stronger than 110 mph.
AccuWeather.com, a private forecasting company, predicted a similar season and numbers earlier this week. The official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast will be given out at the end of May.
An above-average hurricane season this year would follow devastation wrecked by a series of 12 named storms in 2017. More than 100 people died as a result of major storms last year and the events caused an estimated $200 billion in damage, according to figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Unusually warm waters in the western tropical Atlantic contributed to the forecast for an above-average season as hurricanes form more easily in warm conditions. Waters in other parts of the Atlantic remained cooler than average.
We certainly hope to see a calm season here in our part of the Lowcountry. With Matthew in 2016 and [a weakened] Irma coming for a visit last September, we certainly need a break.
Matthew won’t be on it. The name was officially retired last year.