The Colorado State University tropical weather forecasting team led by Phil Klotzbach is anticipating just 3 more hurricanes will form during the remainder of this 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and that only one of those will become a major hurricane, as cooler seas continue to predict a below average year.
The latest forecast update from the Colorado State University team will be viewed as positive by insurance, reinsurance, ILS and catastrophe bond market interests, who are hoping for a less damaging hurricane season after the impacts of 2017.
The CSU forecasters now predict that from August onwards the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will see 9 named tropical storms form, of which 3 may become hurricanes and just 1 become a major hurricane with category 3 winds of 111 mph or greater.
The main factors keeping the Atlantic hurricane forecasts lower this year are the cooler than average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the fact that it is possible that we will see the beginning of the development of El Niño conditions before the hurricane season ends.
The forecasters explained, “We continue to forecast a below-average Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical Atlantic
remains cooler than normal, and there is a relatively high potential that a weak El Niño develops in the next several months.”
But there are other factors that are currently keeping the Atlantic tropics, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico quiet as well, including rising wind shear across many of the key tropical regions and also forecasts for huge Saharan dust plumes and dry air to blow across the main tropical development area over the next few weeks.
As a result, it seems there is little chance of tropical storm formation in the Atlantic in the near-term.
But with the hurricane season officially running until the end of November, the insurance, reinsurance, ILS and cat bond market will always keep one eye on the tropics at this time of year, knowing that it only takes a single storm to make landfall in a built up metro area for the industry to face major losses.
The forecasters said that landfalls are considered less likely in 2018, “The probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean is below normal due to the forecast for a below-average season.”
The chances of Florida and the East Coast U.S. being hit by a named storm is put at 63% for the season (down from the average 81%) and by a hurricane is put at 43% (down from 61%) and by a major hurricane.
The chances of a major hurricane striking anywhere on the U.S. coastline is put at 35%, down significantly on the 52% long-term average.
The Colorado State University full season forecast for tropical storm and hurricane activity for 2018 is now pegged at 12 named storms, 5 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane. From August onwards, taking into account activity that has already occurred this season the forecast is for 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane.
This is a below average year the forecasters are predicting and with current conditions in the Atlantic looking less than conducive to storm development, the insurance, reinsurance, ILS and cat bond market will be hoping that conditions remain detrimental to tropical development over the coming months.
The Artemis average forecast, across all the forecast teams we track, remains for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes across the entire 2018 Atlantic season.
Keep track of our 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season page where we will update the forecast numbers over the coming months and then track every storm of the season.