June 1 marks the official beginning of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic. While only two hurricanes made landfall in 2018, they were extremely destructive and led to more than $50 billion in damage.
Overall, 2018 brought us 15 named storms, eight hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. Among those were Hurricanes Florence (Cat 4) and Michael (Cat 5). Both of these names were retired from future lists of hurricane names, which happens when a storm causes extreme devastation and loss of life.
Active years in the past have had cooler tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures and warmer tropical Atlantic temperatures, and while the Atlantic is warm this year, so is the Pacific from the lingering El Nino. Could this mean we will have fewer hurricanes? The U.S. had experienced a period of fewer hurricanes making landfall over the past decade, compared to the past 150 years, but that trend has reversed the last two years.
Conditions appear favorable for a more active season in the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeast U.S where model guidance shows warmer than normal water temperatures and reduced wind shear, both of which would be supportive of more storm activity. Also, analog upper air patterns show that Atlantic storms would be favored to continue heading westward instead of recurving out to sea. The DTN hurricane forecast for this year is as follows:
To learn more about what to expect, you can listen to the full webinar. In it, you will find many more details about what type of weather conditions could affect the numbers for 2019, as well as a historical look at past hurricanes and facts on the larger coastal population and what that means in regards to property damage and loss of life. You can also learn how to protect your assets. After all, it only takes one hurricane. And in some cases, even a tropical storm with a lot of rain, like Gordon, can create multiple issues and extensive property damage.