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Atlantic TC Forecast

Atlantic TC Forecast


EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY
AND LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2018

(as of May 2, 2018)

"Although we still have over a month before the season officially begins on June 1st, one of the first seasonal outlooks has been released with the initial consensus that the U.S. will experience a slightly above-average 2018 Hurricane Season. Dr. Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University (CSU) issued his April forecast for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season and his forecast calls for 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major (Category 3+) hurricanes.

On average, 12 named storms, 7 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1st to November 30th each year.

With the release of the forecast, Dr. Klotzbach is predicting slightly above average tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin during the upcoming 2018 season. The report cites several factors as to why slightly increased activity is being forecast. One such main factor regards the eventual transition of ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) from current La Niña conditions to ENSO-neutral. Sea surface temperatures over the tropical Pacific have been warming since November 2017 and upper-ocean heat content is currently above normal. The statistical and dynamical forecast models continue to show a wide range of outcomes regarding the state of ENSO by the peak development months (August, September, October). Roughly one-third of the models are calling for ENSO-neutral conditions by late summer/fall, with the rest of the model suite forecasting a weak El Niño.

A second factor revolves around the current sea surface temperature across the North Atlantic Ocean and how these cold anomalies in the far North Atlantic, combined with cool anomalies in the eastern tropical Atlantic, and warm anomalies off the east coast of the United States will impact the season. Dr. Klotzbach says that this type of pattern has led to strong trade winds across the tropical Atlantic and that these conditions promote mixing and the upwelling of cold water which in turn could inhibit activity.

CSU’s best guess estimate at this time is that ENSO-neutral conditions will be present by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Based on these influences above average tropical cyclone activity is forecasted.

As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents and businesses are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. Now is the time to plan and prepare."

	                

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