ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated their 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook on Thursday morning.
NOAA now says that there will be only 9-13 named storms, 4-7 hurricanes, and 0-2 major hurricanes. This change comes as conditions in the ocean and the atmosphere are conspiring to produce a less active Atlantic hurricane season than originally predicted.
“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 originally predicted that there would be a near-normal or above-normal season, with 10-16 storms, five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes. However, in July, Colorado State University released a statement saying that the season would be below average.
To produce the seasonal update, NOAA says that forecasters must take several factors into account. For example, El Nino is now much more likely to develop with enough strength to suppress storm development during the latter part of the season. The sea surface temperature acrossthe tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea also plays a role, as it has remained much cooler than average.
“Today’s updated outlook is a reminder that we are entering the height of hurricane season and everyone needs to know their true vulnerabilities to storms and storm surge,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “Now is the time to know who issues evacuation orders in their community, heed the warnings, update your insurance and have a preparedness plan. Don’t let down your guard, late season storms are always a possibility, always keep your plans updated.”
NOAA still recommends that coastal residents make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts as we move into peak hurricane season.