Following 2017’s historically destructive fall and summer, scientists are now predicting the upcoming 2018 hurricane season will again be above average.
This morning, researchers at Colorado State University released their first report for the 2018 hurricane season, predicting that it will include at least 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, which will pack sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
For some perspective, a typical hurricane season usually has 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two major storms. 2017, which was the fifth most active season since these records were first started back in 1851, was 245 percent higher than the average season, says the report. 2018 is predicted to be 135 percent higher.
The report also includes the probability of major hurricanes making landfall:
– 63 percent for the entire U.S. coastline (average for the last century is 52 percent)
– 39 percent for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula (average for the last century is 31 percent)
– 38 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville (average for the last century is 30 percent)
– 52 percent for the Caribbean (average for the last century is 42 percent)
Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
Of course, predicting how awful a hurricane season can be with 100 percent certainty is impossible, and these reports do change over time, but that doesn’t mean Florida shouldn’t be prepared for the worst.
Speaking to reporters last December, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Craig Fugate stated, “Floridians must brace for storms that will be stronger, have longer periods at top speeds and bring more rain than in the past because of the changing climate.”
Fugate also predicted that people are expecting a level of forecasting that just isn’t there yet.
“If we knew exactly where it was going to hit it would be a lot easier, but it isn’t,” said Fugate said. “As we saw with Irma, a slight jog east or west of that track, we’d have been in a lot different impact. In many ways, with the exception for what happened in extreme Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys, we basically did a lot better than what we thought was going to happen.”