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Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say
06 April 2018, 01:49 | Rufus Hill
The 2018 Hurricane Season Could Be As Eventful As 2017, According To Forecasters
A cooling of ocean waters over the next several months should lead to a slightly above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year, meteorologists predicted Thursday.
For those still grappling with the devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria past year, the 2018 hurricane season may not offer a reprieve.
Colorado State University forecasters Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell expect 14 named tropical storms during the 2018 season - seven that will likely become hurricanes.
This season could exhibit similar patterns as 1960, 1967, 1996, 2006 and 2011, according to their report. For some perspective, a typical hurricane season usually has 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major storms.
Hurricane season officially begins on June 1.
Klotzbach said in the wake of last year's disastrous hurricane season, which cost the USA economy an estimated $300 billion, energy industry players are seeking to harden their infrastructure to mitigate the potential damage from a repeat performance of last year's storm season.
For the upcoming hurricane season, the CSU report found that there is a 39% chance for a major hurricane to hit the US East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, compared with an average 31% chance for the last century.
CSU hurricane researchers believe this season's activity will be about 135 percent of the average season.
"That's one of the big questions that we have going forward is what El Niño is going to do". The Pacific Ocean may not give us too many predictive clues about the Atlantic hurricane season.
While hurricanes thrive on hot ocean water, the eastern Atlantic is cool, and the western part of the basin is warm.
By summer, forecasters should have a better indication of how much wind shear to expect and whether the entire Atlantic is heating up.
Of course, that would also mean intense storms elsewhere and potentially droughts, so it's not exactly a win, regardless.
"No one could say in early August a year ago we were going to witness the apocalypse", Klotzbach said.
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