The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to feature significantly above long-term average levels of activity by researchers from North Carolina State University, who suggest that as many as 18 named tropical storms and hurricanes could form this year.
The hurricane season in 2018 is expected to be significantly more active than the overall averages from 1950 to the present, the researchers said in their first update for the year, with risk seen as heightened along both Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The forecasters. led by Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at North Carolina State, predict that 14 to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, during the 2018 tropical season.
This is significantly higher than the long-term average number of 11 named tropical storms per season.
Another above average season forecast will not be welcomed by reinsurance and ILS interests, however it is important to note that landfalls are the real threat and of course it only takes one major United States landfall in 2018 to create a significant loss for the reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) sectors.
Of the named tropical storms, the NC forecast calls for between 7 and 11 to become strong enough to reach hurricane status, again above the long-term average which is 6 hurricanes.
Of the forecast 7 to 11 hurricane formations, the NC State team believe that between 3 and 5 will intensify to reach major hurricane status, with Category 3 or higher winds, a little above the long-term average of 3 major hurricanes.
Lian Xie also believes that the Gulf will see an above average number of storms, with 5 to 6 forecast for the region, above the long-term average of 3. Between 1 and 2 of those storms are forecast to have become hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
Adding the NC State forecast into our list of tracked forecasts gives us an Artemis average forecast for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season of 14 named storms (up by one), 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
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.