This year’s hurricane season: 2-5 major storms likely on East and Gulf coasts

May 17, 2018

Following one of the worst hurricane seasons in U.S. history in 2017—with catastrophic damage caused by 17 named storms that cut a swath through Texas, Florida and the Caribbean—the nation now is looking at a “normal to above normal” hurricane probability for 2018, based on forecasts by the Hurricane Genesis & Outlook (HUGO) Project at Coastal Carolina University released earlier this month.

Indeed, HUGO believes that there is a high probability of landfall on both the U.S. East and Gulf coasts between June 1 and November 30, according to its extended range forecast for the North Atlantic.

Based on climate factors available in April, HUGO predicts that there will be a range of:

  • 11 to 18 named tropical storms (with 15 being the GHurrmost likely),
  • 5 to 9 tropical storms becoming hurricanes (with 7 most likely), and
  • 2 to 5 of those becoming major hurricanes.

The most probable scenario calls for at least one hurricane landfall on the East Coast and at least one hurricane landfall on the Gulf Coast during the 2018 season.

The second most likely scenario is that no hurricanes will make landfall on either coast. The third most likely possibility is that two hurricanes will make landfall on the Atlantic East Coast, as well as two on the Gulf Coast.

Updated outlooks will be released later in the season, as more observational climate data become available. Past HUGO outlook forecasts have proven to be highly accurate.

In addition to the seasonal outlook, the model system predicts the track, intensity, surge and the inundation and flooding potential of an incoming hurricane seven days out. The HUGO model system is updated daily until the hurricane makes landfall, providing specific data on probabilistic storm surge and inundation including time, location and statistical representations of expected water depth along the coastline.

Research contact: lpietraf@coastal.edu

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