On May 31st, the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team released their updated predictions for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. These predictions are developed based upon over 60 years of historical data including; Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels, El Niño and numerous other factors.
The forecast summary calls for;
*14 Named Storms (including Subtropical Storm Alberto which formed in May)
*2 Major Hurricanes
It is possible we will see a weak El Niño during the peak of the hurricane season, which tends to inhibit tropical storm formation. However, the more likely scenario is for a neutral El Niño conditions to prevail.
Major hurricane landfall probabilities;
*51 percent for the entire U.S. coastline
*30 percent for the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula
*29 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville
So what does all this mean? The reality is that there is no strong, provable correlation between the number of storms and U.S. landfall during hurricane season. If we look back to 1992, there were only six named storms that year. But as we know, hurricane Andrew, one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history was one of them. In comparison, 2010 saw the formation of 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes, with only one tropical storm making landfall. According to the NOAA Hurricane Research Division statistics the U.S. averages one to two hurricane landfalls each season.
The team will issue updated predictions on July 2 and again on August 2. Stay Tuned!