FORT COLLINS, CO — The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially kicked off June 1 what most meteorologists project will be an average to slightly above-average year.
Colorado State University released its annual Atlantic Basin hurricane season forecast for 2018 in early April, as part of the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project, with predictions of slightly above average expected storms, according to the Weather Channel.
The forecast predicted a busy season, though less active than 2017, including 14 expected named storms (30-year average: 12); seven expected hurricanes (30-year average: 6); and two expected Category 3 or higher hurricanes (30-year average: 2) due to above-average water temperatures off the U.S. East Coast. Water temperatures play a major role in the development of hurricanes, with 80-plus-degree water generally recognized as conducive to hurricane development, and above-average temperatures in the Atlantic generally indicates a more active season.
However, since the April predictions, waters have continued to cool, leaving most major weather predictors to lower their predicted forecasts.
Planned names for the 2018 hurricane season are as follows: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, and William.
Much of the U.S. is still struggling to recover from the 2017 hurricane season, which caused upwards of $265 billion in damages and thousands of lives, according to multiple sources. A recently published Bloomberg reported areas of Florida and Texas have yet to receive emergency funding from the government to cover hurricane costs from last year.