The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season officially starts today despite the fact that the Gulf Coast has already seen its first named storm of the year. NOAA projects 10 to 16 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes, and 1 to 4 major hurricanes. State Climatologist Barry Keim says that’s not too far off base for an average year.
“What’s being predicted here points to something near-normal to maybe leaning slightly above-normal in terms of the total number of storms for the 2018 season.”
Much of the prediction is based on the fact that the last twenty years have been some of the most active storm seasons in recent history. Keim says projections will trend towards busier seasons until there’s a noticeable change in the pattern.
“We’ve just been in a hyperactive pattern since 1995 where most seasons have had above normal activity.”
Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto hit the Gulf Coast over the Memorial Day weekend, which has some folks worried that we could be in store for a busy year if its only May and we’re already getting named storms. Keim says it doesn’t work like that.
“We already have one ‘out of the gate’ before this hurricane season even starts, but that’s certainly not any serious indication of what this season may bring.”
Last year’s historic hurricane season claimed lives across the Gulf and caused nearly 300 billion dollars in damage.