Hurricane Season 2018: What’s the Forecast?

Wondering how the Hurricane Season 2018 Forecast is going to weather South Florida? Last year hit South Florida, particularly the Keys, extremely hard. A new hurricane forecast for the Atlantic has just been released, and great news: the probability for major hurricanes making major landfall in the United States and Caribbean is below average. If you’re a South Florida resident, or a boat club member, you can breathe a sigh of relief—for now.

Hurricane Season 2018 Forecast
Here’s an image we hope not to see this hurricane season! (NOAA)

The forecast for Gulfstream Boat Club’s locations in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Hypoluxo is looking good. As of July 2, 2018, here is the news from the Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Meteorology Project, from Colorado State University:

ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE SEASON 2018 FORECAST:  HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY.

We have decreased our forecast and now believe that 2018 will have below-average activity. The tropical and subtropical Atlantic is currently much colder than normal, and the odds of a weak El Niño developing in the next several months have increased. With the decrease in Hurricane Season 2018 Forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well. 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.

PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COASTAL AREAS:
1)  Entire U.S. coastline – 39% (average for last century is 52%)
2)  U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 22% (average for last century is 31%)
3)  Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 21% (average for last century is 30%)

PROBABILITY FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE TRACKING INTO THE CARIBBEAN (10-20°N, 60-88°W)
31% (average for last century is 42%)

Information obtained through June 2018 indicates that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity below the median 1981-2010 season. This revised prediction is a considerable decrease from our prior seasonal forecasts issued in April and June. There remains some uncertainty with this forecast which we outline in the following paragraphs.

Captain in boat offering aid after Hurricane Irma
We delivered diapers, water, food, and more to Marathon Key last hurricane season.

We estimate that 2018 will have an additional 4 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 10 named storms (median is 12.0), 41.50 named storm days (median is 60.1), 15 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 1 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 2 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 75 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity for the remainder of the season to be approximately 65 percent of their long-term median values.

The Hurricane Season 2018 Forecast forecast is based on an extended-range early July statistical prediction scheme that was developed utilizing 36 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We now anticipate a below-average Atlantic basin hurricane season. The tropical Atlantic is much colder than normal. A colder than normal tropical Atlantic provides less fuel for developing tropical cyclones but also tends to be associated with higher pressure and a more stable atmosphere. These conditions tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.

Also, the odds of a weak El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2018 have increased somewhat. If El Niño were to develop, it would tend to lead to more vertical wind shear in the Caribbean extending into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they are trying to develop and intensify.

Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

For more information on the Hurricane Season 2018 Forecast, visit http://tropical.colostate.edu. And for now, feel free to plan some summer South Florida boat trips with GBC!