NOAA projects near normal season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that there will be between 10 to 16 named storms and up to four'major hurricanes for the 2018 season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast calls for 10 to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes.

"Last year was extremely active", Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said in an interview. A normal hurricane season sees an average of 12 named storms, half of which end up becoming hurricanes and three of which develop into major hurricanes, according to NOAA. Of these, one to four are predicted to become major hurricanes.

Tropical storms have sustained winds of 39 miles per hour or above, and hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour. One to four hurricanes could be "major" with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

"There's no strong climate signal saying it's going to be extremely active, like previous year, or extremely weak".

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, peaks from August to October, and extends to November 30. There are two reasons for uncertainty in the forecast, Bell said. He said, " Some years we are doing really well, and some other years when conditions are more hard to predict, everyone fails and we fail as well".

"We are expecting a near average season, which means a lot of storms swarming in the Atlantic", he added.

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The science concerning the effects of climate change on hurricanes is still emerging, but rising sea levels are already making storm surge worse, and warming ocean waters feed energy to storms.

Forecasters warned against drawing comfort from the likelihood that this won't be the busiest hurricane season. As forecasters are fond of pointing out, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 struck during an otherwise inactive season.

The estimates from TIME's analysis found that 28 of the NOAA's 45 estimates, or 62 percent, were correct, while the average error was about 3 years high or low - a figure driven up by dramatic underestimates in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina, and dramatic overestimates in a comparatively quiet 2006. "We know like previous year that we get a lot of hurricanes striking in a very active season".

These are the names assigned to the tropical storms or hurricanes that may form in the Atlantic Ocean in 2018.

The 2018 season is anticipated to be slightly more active than usual, with a 75 percent chance of an above-normal or near-normal season, NOAA representatives announced at a news conference. Heavy rains were likely across western Cuba, much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week.

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