U.S. forecasters say 2018 hurricane season may be above normal

What Flagler does not want to see

What Flagler does not want to see

Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they are forecasting 10-16 named storms this year, and five to nine of those storms are forecast to become hurricanes. Up to 7 hurricanes may reach major status (category 3-5).

An average year, according to NOAA, has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Colorado State University also has a long history of posting seasonal hurricane forecasts.

In the center's outlook, issued Wednesday, forecasters said there is a 40 percent chance of an above-normal season and normal season, and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season. "We only had three storms that came within our response zone compared to the 17 that formed within the Atlantic", Robichaud said.

The system is now off the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula but it's expected to move northward.

Bell added, "We know certain areas have been compromised from last year's storms, and that makes hurricane preparedness even more important this year".

As it does each year, NOAA reminds that it takes only one hurricane to cause a catastrophic season: "Millions of people need to know that hurricane season is coming, and that you need to start preparing now", Bell said.

Hurricanes are one of the deadliest weather systems out there.

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The warm waters fuel strong winds above the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which make it hard for storms to organize into cyclones. "These upgrades are key to improving hurricane track and intensity forecasts, allowing NOAA to deliver the best science and service to the nation".

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30.

Tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are now near their long-term average values, according to the researchers at Colorado State.

Harvey, Irma and Maria have been retired from the list of hurricane names, Robichaud said. These winds blow the tops off of developing thunderstorms found within tropical systems, slowly tearing them apart.

Another risk is a possibility of more brushfires as the recent abundance of rains has led to plenty of vegetation.

But the water is expected to warm up to at least average, which would encourage hurricane development, as storms thrive off warm water.

This avoids the use of, say, Katrina, Sandy or Maria to describe a future weak, open-ocean tropical storm. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation has been in its warm phase since 1995.

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