Lower Estimates for 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Estimates of how active the tropical Atlantic will be for any given hurricane season involve the major components of available heat energy and its ability to be processed into tropical cyclones. Limiting factors involve anything that interferes with that process. Accordingly, we study and try to forecast how warm the uppermost portion of the ocean may become during the active season, and also try to estimate how much wind shear may be present that could inhibit storm growth. The bottom line this season: originally, we were thinking that near of slightly below normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) would be present, and that wind shear would be minimal. Our estimates, therefore, called for a slightly above normal season of activity. Recently, however, observed SSTs in the tropical Atlantic (circled in red) remain well below normal. Also, indications are that an el nino is developing in the eastern Pacific. The latter means increasing wind shear in the Atlantic Basin, which will inhibit tropical development. In short, it now looks like a below normal season of activity. Keep in mind, however; it only takes ONE storm. Be prepared.