Rex Ross Web Site Special Weather Feature

"Looking Ahead to the 2018 Atlantic Basin
Tropical Storm Season"
May 22, 2018

Following an active hurricane season in 2017, the outlook for 2018 appears to show a tropical season closer to, but perhaps slightly higher than, the long term seaon averages.

Two commonly referenced sources of hurricane predictions for 2018 are:

* Colorado State University

* The Weather Channel

Their 2018 forecasts are as follows:

  2017 Predicted 2017 Actual 30 Year Average 2018
Colorado State U.
2018 Weather Channel
Total Named Storms 14 17 12 14 13
Hurricanes 6.5 10 6 7 6
Category 3 or Higher (Major Hurricanes) 2.5 6 2 3 2

When Does Hurricane Season Begin?

The official onset of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin is June 1, with the offical season ending November 30.

However, there are numerous examples of tropical events in the Atlantic basin occuring prior to June 1 and after November 30.

* El Nino Event:

The odds are increasingly in favor for the development of a neutral state of El Niño or a weak El Niño by the heart of the hurricane season.

The occurrence of an El Nino event typically results in increased wind shear in the Atlantic, and such wind shear often limits or suppresses the formation of storms. Without that El Nino driven wind shear, storms are more likely to form and strengthen as they cross the Southern Atlantic without their tops being blown off, which often causes them to weaken and/or dissipate.

* Sea Surface Temperatures:

Water temperatures in the Atlantic have a much more direct role in tropical cyclone development on our side of the continent.

If temperatures in the main development region for storms are warmer than average, we often get more than the average number of tropical storms and hurricanes from this region.

Conversely, below average ocean temperatures can lead to less tropical storms than if waters were warmer.

The current water temperatures across the North Atlantic basin show cooler-than-average water temperatures in the far North Atlantic and in the eastern tropical Atlantic and warmer-than-average water temperatures off the East Coast of the U.S. Since early March there has been some slight anomalous warming across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic. It remains a big question of what water temperatures will be in the North Atlantic during the peak of hurricane season.

* Other Factors: Many other factors, such as the presence or absence of dry air conditions in the Southern Atlantic, and large scale air circulation patterns also affect the formation and strengthening of tropical systems.The outlook for this factor is unclear at present.


* Regardless of the pre-season predictions, it only takes one storm event impacting your area of interest to make the season an unpleasant one.

* So it is important for all those with interests along the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean coastal zones to pay close attention to any tropical systems which may possibly affect those locations.

Reports During the 2018 Tropical Season

Our usual brief daily recaps will be sent out whenever there is an active tropical system in the Atlantic basin.

And don't forget, you can always check the active storm page available at:

and then click on the Active Storms link at the top left of that page.