Slightly above normal hurricane season possible for 2018

Posted: Updated:

The 2018 hurricane season is expected to bring near normal to slightly above normal tropical cyclone activity and will produce approximately 10-16 named storms, according to News 12 Meteorologist Mike Rizzo.

June 1st starts the Atlantic hurricane season which runs until November 30th.

This year’s outlook suggests a near normal season with approximately 10-16 named tropical cyclones where 5-9 will develop into hurricanes and 1-4 have the potential to be major hurricanes at category 3 strength or higher.

Since Alberto, there have been some early concerns that the 2018 season will be highly active like last year. However the overall atmospheric conditions are not be in favor of a season as intense as 2017.

Current water temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea are near normal.

Warmer than normal water temperatures can enhance tropical cyclone activity. Additionally the development of a weak El Nino late in the summer season may help to reduce the impacts of late season storms.

El Nino is an atmospheric weather pattern that helps suppress Atlantic tropical cyclone activity, whereas it enhances Pacific tropical cyclone activity.

This year’s forecast is as follows:

This year’s named storms:

News 12 Meteorologist Mike Rizzo says that as the climate changes, the intensity of strong tropical cyclones will continue to increase.

Additionally, sea level rise will enhance storm surges along vulnerable coastal areas, inundating larger areas than ever before.

Warmer ocean temperatures and the availability of warmer air help to fuel storms more – causing a deeper rapid intensification cycle within these storms. Rapid intensification occurs when storms under a quick cycle of strengthening  that dangerously increases hurricane wind speeds.

This was evident in 2017 when Hurricane Maria intensified rapidly within 24 hours of landfall in the Caribbean nation of Dominica. This left little to no time to prepare for catastrophic impacts.

The climate just doesn’t affect the wind, but can also enhance the availability of moisture in the atmosphere to produce heavier rainfall.

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