After a devastating 2017 hurricane season which featured three of the costliest tropical systems in history, meteorologists predict that 2018 will be just as nightmarish.
Researchers at the Colorado State University have released their preliminary seasonal forecast, as this year's hurricane season is just two months away. Typically, hurricane seasons in the Atlantic run from June to November, with the majority of the storms manifesting in mid-August and mid-October. The Caribbean islands, the eastern coast of the U.S. and some of central (Ontario), eastern (Quebec) and Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia) are the areas most affected by the storms.
As many as 14 named storms have been predicted, seven of which are expected to be just as monstrous as Harvey, Irma and Maria from last year. At least one of the seven is expected to make continental landfall, with current data giving a 63% probability.
More active hurricane seasons are caused by above-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean. 2017 brought near-record warmth during hurricane season, causing more intense tropical systems to form.
Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a forecaster at Colorado State University, says it's possible for sea surface temperatures to warm dramatically this year as well:
"As of now, I don't see anything in the immediate future that would cause sea surface temperatures to warm up dramatically. However, there is certainly still time for this to occur, which is one of the biggest challenges with issuing forecasts this early."