WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2018–National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters have lowered their 2018 Atlantic hurricane season prediction.
The result of ocean and atmosphere conditions is a less-active Atlantic hurricane season than initially predicted in May, though NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency raise caution as the season enters its peak months.
Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained much cooler than average.
A combination of stronger wind shear, drier air and increased stability of the atmosphere in the region where storms typically develop will further suppress hurricanes.
“There are still more storms to come–the hurricane season is far from being over,” said Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “We urge continued preparedness and vigilance.”
For the entire season, which ends Nov. 30, NOAA predicts a total of nine-to-13 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) of which four-to-seven will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including up to two major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).
So far, the season has seen four named storms, including two hurricanes. An average six-month hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.