2018 Hurricane season forecast by NOAA

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2018 Hurricane season forecast by NOAA

Postby HBS Guy » 01 Jun 2018, 10:21

2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook: Summary

a. Predicted Activity

NOAA's outlook for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season indicates that a near-normal season is most likely (40% chance), followed by a 35% chance of an above-normal season and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. See NOAA definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.

The 2018 outlook calls for a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity:
10-16 Named Storms
5-9 Hurricanes
1-4 Major Hurricanes
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range of 65%-145% of the median
The seasonal activity is expected to fall within these ranges in 70% of seasons with similar climate conditions and uncertainties to those expected this year. These ranges do not represent the total possible ranges of activity seen in past similar years. These expected ranges are centered near or above the 1981-2010 seasonal averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Most of the predicted activity is likely to occur during the peak months (August-October, ASO) of the hurricane season.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. This outlook will be updated in early August to coincide with the onset of the peak months of the hurricane season.

b. Reasoning behind the outlook

Currently, we have ENSO-neutral (no El Niño or La Niña) conditions in the Pacific Ocean, along with anomalously cool sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic hurricane Main Development Region (MDR, which includes the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea). [ENSO refers to El Niño/ Southern Oscillation, which has three phases: El Niño, neutral, and La Niña.].

Looking forward, there is considerable uncertainty in the predictions for both El Niño and Atlantic SSTs during the August-October period. This outlook reflects our expectation of ENSO-neutral conditions or a weak El Niño, along with a return to near-average SSTs in the MDR as the summer progresses.

These conditions are set upon a backdrop of the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995. This increased activity has been associated with the warm phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), which produces a set of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to stronger hurricane seasons.

The combination of ENSO-neutral conditions and a warmer MDR could favor hurricane activity near the upper ends of the predicted ranges, while the combination of El Niño and a cooler MDR could favor activity near the lower ends of the predicted ranges.


Hurricane formation tends to be assisted with a La Nina in the Pacific. The weak La Nina that formed late last year seems to have faded back to ENSO neutral. The destructive hurricanes last year occurred with neutral ENSO with the weak La Nina forming after the NH summer.
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