Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Four 'Major' Hurricanes Predicted to Hit United States in 2018

Four 'Major' Hurricanes Predicted to Hit United States in 2018

Forecasters predict the hurricane season will be normal or above-normal.

But, NOAA is seeing the signal for a season that is either "normal" or "above normal".

These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Centre said on Thursday it expects the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near-normal to above-normal in number and intensity of storms. "We can not predict how many of these storms will actually make landfall", he cautions.

For perspective, the rare 2017 season saw 17 named storms (winds higher than 39 mph), six of which were major hurricanes of Category 3 or above, like hurricane Harvey and Irma a year ago. At the same time, warmer sea surface temperatures serve to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean.

NOAA touted its sophisticated technology, "from next-generation models and satellite data to new and improved forecast and graphical products", to forecast storms and help the public make informed decisions.

With Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria just three of the six hurricanes that reached a Category 3 or higher, the 2017 hurricane season proved to be one of the worst in recent memory.

"NOAA's observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world's best regional and global weather models", said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.

The tropical cyclone names are as follows: Alberto Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, William. The latest monster in the Atlantic is Hurricane Maria, which mushroomed into a Category 5 storm with rare 175 miles per hour winds before slamming into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 behemoth, causing massive destruction and knocking out power to the entire island.

Last year's hurricane season was one of the most active on record. "We know like previous year that we get a lot of hurricanes striking in a very active season". Each of those years, there were 19 named storms, with 12 strengthening into hurricanes in 2010 and 10 becoming hurricanes in 2012, including Sandy, which caused widespread destruction in New Jersey.

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