2018 is likely to see normal to slightly above-normal storm Atlantic hurricane activity. That's according to the newly-released forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The breakdown looks like this: 10-16 named storms; 5-9 may become hurricanes. Of those, one to four could become major hurricanes.
According to Meteorologist Josh Weiss of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, that's very close to an average season in the Atlantic basin which would see 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes with three major hurricanes.
One forecast for the 2018 hurricane season out of Colorado State University predicts fourteen named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. That projection puts this year’s activity at slightly above average. Hurricane season starts June 1st – that’s next week –and lasts through November 30th. There are new prediction tools this year that we learn about on this edition of CoastLine, estimated arrival times of, for example, tropical storm force winds. There’s also a new storm surge tool that is operational this year.
Generally, forecasts are getting better, error cones are shrinking, and storms are intensifying. Our guests on this show have lots of expert direction to offer regarding hurricane preparedness – before, during, and after a storm – but one important point they’ll drive home every chance they get: it only takes one major storm making landfall, and the time to prepare is now.
Steven Still, New Hanover County Emergency Management and 911 Director
Josh Weiss, Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Wilmington office