This hurricane season could be worse than average, forecasters say

Watch out Florida: Forecast predicts active 2018 hurricane season

The hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and ends November 30.

Klotzbach, a research scientist, pointed past year in a season wrap-up to "the record-breaking levels of hurricane activity that occurred during September" with Harvey, Irma and Maria, "the most notable storms of 2017, leaving paths of death and destruction in their wake".

Of the seven hurricanes experts expect 2018 to bring, three are forecast to be classified as "major hurricanes", in other words, a Category 3, 4 or 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

A total of 14 storms are forecast, with seven forecast to become hurricanes.

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The Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average this year, Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predicted Thursday.

The forecasting media company predicts three to four storms will make landfall in 2018.

"Last season had near-record warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic", said Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University. These numbers are slightly above the 30-year average.

In terms of landfall probabilities, Klotzbach's team at Colorado State see a 63% probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the entire US coastline (average for last century is 52%), a 39% probability of a major hurricane striking the east coast or Florida (average is 31%) and a 38% probability of a major hurricane striking the Gulf Coast (average is 30%).

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The CSU researchers also found that in 2018 there is a 52% chance for a major storm to hit US-owned islands in the Caribbean, versus an average 42% chance for the last century.

"Right now, we are in a weakening La Nina pattern, but the climate pattern is expected to go into what's called a neutral pattern, which promotes near-normal wind shear", Kottlowski said.

The state of Florida is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last season. "Look for storms to be stronger farther to the north and east than 2017".

One thing is for certain - this is just a preliminary outlook and the forecast is subject to change. However, if a storm is considered too deadly or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer be used for reasons of sensitivity.

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