The 2018 hurricane season is shaping up to be “near- or above-normal” — though not to the degree seen last year, when 17 named storms formed and three major hurricanes struck US soil — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said Thursday.
Ten to 16 named storms — including five to nine hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes with Cateory 3 strength or higher — are predicted this Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1, the federal agency predicted.
Last year’s season ended with 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. The Atlantic basin annually averages 12 named storms, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.NOAA added that there is a 75% chance that the 2018 season will see near or more than the average number of storms in the basin.
“The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
As usual, the latest forecast cannot offer the bit of information most critical to residents living in hurricane-prone areas, from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the Carolinas and, sometimes, as far north as Boston: precisely where this year’s storms might strike.