NOAA is now projecting a slightly below normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now predicted to be "below-normal," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said Thursday.

“There are still more storms to come – the hurricane season is far from being over. We urge continued preparedness and vigilance,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA's August seasonal forecast predicts:

  • 9 - 13 named storms
  • 4-7 hurricanes
  • 0-2 major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher

* The forecast number includes the four named storms that already have formed this year.

Forecasters take several factors into account when putting these forecast together. One main source of energy hurricanes need to form and strengthen are warm sea surface temperatures. The sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea have remained much cooler than average. Additionally, there has been stronger wind shear and increased amounts of dry air which suppress tropical formation.

Statement from NOAA: "NOAA also urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts as we move into peak hurricane season."

** Remember it only takes one to make it a bad year for you. You should prepare the same every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

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