MIAMI (AP) — U.S. government forecasters expect ten to sixteen named storms to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.
Of those 10-16 storms, 5-9 will be hurricanes and 1-4 will be major hurricanes, according to NOAA.
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1.
Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center outlook for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane has a 35% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. https://t.co/VHM1eBoWZ3 pic.twitter.com/1XLX10wnJg
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) May 24, 2018
Forecasters are predicting a 75% chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-average.
“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters released their storm season outlook Thursday at the agency’s aircraft operations center in Lakeland, Florida. That facility is the base for NOAA’s “hurricane hunter” aircraft that fly into storms to collect data used in storm forecasts.
NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was: A trio of devastating hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria — ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands. Overall, last year saw 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.