Scientists downgrade number of expected storms for 2018

Published 1:17 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

According to researchers at Colorado State University, this hurricane season may be less active than predicted, but Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Frank Shaffer said that people should not let their guard down.

“It only takes one storm,” Shaffer said. “Even if the forecast says there are 10 storms or just one storm, always make sure that you are prepared.”

Meteorologists at CSU said that water temperatures in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic have been much colder than average for a while now.

“Meteorologists usually go off of what information they have,” Shaffer said. “They usually look at climate changes and different pressures.”

A May 13 update kept the predicted total number of named storms at 14 but lowered the predicted hurricanes to six, and the number of major hurricanes to two.

The July update has lowered that again to 11 named storms, four hurricanes and one major hurricane, which is expected to be a category three or stronger storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, there is an area of disturbed weather that has formed a few hundred miles southeast of Bermuda, and is forecast to move northward over the weekend and begin interacting with a frontal system on Sunday, which would limit any additional development.

Other statistics from the report include probabilities for at least one major hurricane hitting the entire U.S. coastline, which was 39 percent and probabilities for at least one major hurricane hitting the U.S. east coast which was 22 percent.

“A colder than normal tropical Atlantic provides less fuel for developing tropical cyclones but also tends to be associated with higher pressure and a more stable atmosphere,” the report said. “These conditions tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.”

Shaffer said that people need to be ready for whatever happens.

“Don’t let your guard down,” Shaffer said. “We need to run it through to the end of the season.”

The National Hurricane Center will release another forecast will be updated in August near the peak of the hurricane season and could be revised downward even more.