Sci-tech

United States weather forecasters predict at least four MAJOR HURRICANES during 2018 season

United States weather forecasters predict at least four MAJOR HURRICANES during 2018 season

Unfortunately it appears the 2018 hurricane season will potentially be just as unsafe, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report on Thursday indicating the season will see 10 to 16 named tropical storms with the number of hurricanes ranging between five and nine.

The Climate Prediction Center's outlook, which is calling for 10 to 16 named storms; 5 to 9 hurricanes - 1 to 4 potentially major - comes in close to the extended forecast figures released in early April by Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. A major hurricane is one of Category 3 strength or higher, which means winds speeds of at least 111 miles per hour, which will cause "devastating damage", according to the National Hurricane Center.

There is a 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be "near-or above-normal", the agency said. Forecasters there predicted a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes an three major hurricanes.

Neil Jacobs, the assistant secretary of commerce for environmental prediction and observation, says that NOAA predicts between 10 and 16 named storms, with sustained winds of 39 miles per hour or higher. There were 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes, including Harvey, Irma and Maria, which devastated parts of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.

After the most expensive hurricane season on record a year ago, U.S. officials said Thursday to expect a more normal Atlantic season in 2018 with five to nine hurricanes in total.

The 2018 Hurricane Season Is Approaching. Here's What You Should Know

Fewer storms are expected this year partly because of "the possibility of a weak El Nino developing", which could reduce the number of storms later in the season, NOAA said. The latest monster in the Atlantic is Hurricane Maria, which mushroomed into a Category 5 storm with rare 175 miles per hour winds before slamming into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 behemoth, causing massive destruction and knocking out power to the entire island. NOAA is not expecting this season to be quite so bad, but an average season could do tremendous damage.

The agency expects five to nine hurricanes, which have winds of 74 miles per hour or higher.

The actual season was right on the high end of that prediction range. And even if they do arrive as predicted, it's impossible to say for sure how many storms such conditions will produce.

Earlier this month, Harris County officials observed Hurricane Preparedness Week and called on residents to review their plans before the season starts. Harvey was just a tropical storm when it poured rain over Houston, but it caused record-breaking floods.

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