NOAA Predicts a Below Normal Hurricane Season in the Atlantic

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released their updated Atlantic Basin hurricane outlook for 2018, and it is generally good news. A number of factors lead NOAA hurricane scientists to conclude that there is a 60 percent chance of a below normal hurricane season. Those factors include the coolest sea surface temperatures in the deep tropical Atlantic since the early 1990s. Another factor is an emerging el nino pattern, which increases vertical wind shear that impedes hurricane development. A third factor is a fair dry and stable atmosphere that has persisted over the tropical Atlantic. In short, NOAA predicts 9 to 13 named storms (four already have occurred), 4 to 7 hurricanes, and 0 to 2 major hurricanes. Normals are 12, 6 and 3, respectively. Remember, however, it only takes one to make it a big year. Be prepared.