87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsLocal newsNOAA Predicts an Active Hurricane Season

NOAA Predicts an Active Hurricane Season

Sept. 19, 2017, satellite photo of Hurricane Maria.
Sept. 19, 2017, satellite photo of Hurricane Maria.

The hurricane season that begins next week will be an active one, according to a forecast released Thursday by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

NOAA is forecasting a 75 percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal.

“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration comes under the purview of Commerce. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”

NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher,) of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher.) Of those, one to four are expected to reach the status of major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher.)

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to the government science agency.

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 the upcoming hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30.

The NOAA forecast coincides with the prediction in April from Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, which called for a “slightly above average” 2018 hurricane season.

A year ago, CSU’s forecasters forecast a slightly below average season in April 2017, then upgraded the forecast to average just before the season started. Similarly, NOAA had predicted an average season for 2017. Those forecasts seem almost amusing now, after three major storms: Harvey, which caused massive flooding in the southern U.S., followed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 monsters that strafed the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The islands are still recovering from those blasts.

It’s a reminder of the adage that it only takes one hurricane to ruin your whole season, if you happen to be where it hits.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more