The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season should be an active one,
according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Lead hurricane forecaster, Dr.
Gerry Bell says there is a 75 percent chance that the upcoming season will be
near- or above-normal.
“Well we are predicting 10 to 16 tropical storms, the
average is 12, and we are also predicting 5 to 9 hurricanes. We are expecting a
Dr. Bell explains there’s a lot of factors that went into
this year’s predictions including the possibility that a weak El Nino may increase
the number of hurricanes.
“One of those climate factors is the El Nino-La Nina cycle.
El Nino acts to increase the wind shear, which suppresses hurricanes. Its counterpart,
La Nina, reduces the wind shear and favors a lot more hurricanes.”
The NOAA says the severity Atlantic hurricane seasons have
been steadily increasing since 1995 and the impacts have not been limited to
coastal communities. Dr. Bell says more people should get ready for this upcoming
“So now is the time to start preparing. The threat from
hurricanes are not just for the near coastal communities, there are over 80
million people between the Atlantic coast and Gulf coast that could be impacted
by a hurricane.”
NOAA will issue another seasonal outlook in early August,
right before the peak of the season.