The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season starts today (June 1) and runs through November 30. Last week (May 24, 2018) NOAA released its annual hurricane season outlook. Scientists at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center are forecasting a 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal.
Two of the factors driving this outlook are the possibility of a weak El Niño developing, along with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. These factors, says the report,
.. are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.
NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
More specifically, the NOAA forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for this hurricane season.
Bottom line: NOAA’s outlook for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.