Researchers predict above normal activity for 2018 hurricane season

Watch out Florida: Forecast predicts active 2018 hurricane season

An active hurricane season is being predicted by Colorado State University researchers, who are suggesting slightly above-average activity in the Atlantic during 2018, the university said in a statement Thursday.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and goes through November 30.

As many as 14 named storms have been predicted, seven of which are expected to be just as monstrous as Harvey, Irma and Maria from a year ago. A typical season sees 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two majors.

"We're forecasting a slightly above average season", he said, "because we don't think a significant El Niño will develop this year".

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The last few years, Atlantic waters have started the year colder than normal but have significantly warmed in the spring and summer, CSU research scientist and forecast lead author Phil Klotzbach. Harvey, which hit Texas, was directly responsible for 68 deaths and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. "The idea is now is the time to get a plan in place", he said.

The forecast is based on, among other data, an expectation that "a transition to El Nino is relatively unlikely in the summer/fall of 2018", the report states.

As for the rest of the season, the area from Houston to Florida and up through the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be more favorable for direct impacts from storms, AccuWeather said.

The state of Florida is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last season.

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Maria devastated Puerto Rico and Dominica.

In terms of landfall probabilities, Klotzbach's team at Colorado State see a 63% probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire USA coastline (average for last century is 52%), a 39% probability of a major hurricane striking the east coast or Florida (average is 31%) and a 38% probability of a major hurricane striking the Gulf Coast (average is 30%).

Tropical storms that enter or originate in the Gulf of Mexico are especially problematic for the oil and gas producing industry in that they frequently force the temporary shutdown of offshore oil and gas production, as operators evacuate production platforms for safety reasons.

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