Hurricane Season 2018 runs from June 1 through November 30. Every year large storm systems threaten homes and property around Southwest Florida. The 2017 season welcomed 3 of the 5 costliest hurricanes in US history. Gulf state residents probably wish we could just skip this season. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria struck our shores in quick succession at the end of the season. The 2018 season looks like it’ll be another active one. With just one week to go before the season begins, let’s take a look at the predictions and names, and what to expect for our homes, properties, and investments in the Sunshine State.
Colorado State University (CSU) researchers have predicted another above-average year, partnered with low likelihood of significant El Nino weather patterns. This means that winds that form in the upper level of the atmosphere from the west in the Caribbean won’t form and tear apart hurricanes trying to form in the tropical Atlantic. This is a key behavior of El Nino weather patterns.
The CSU team has predicted that there will be 14 named storms and 11 hurricanes, with 3 reaching major (Category 3 or higher) status. Researchers constantly remind coastal residents that even if the predictions were lower, it only takes one storm coming to your area to make this what they call an active season. Florida learned that last year with Harvey bringing serious rainfall, followed quickly by Irma. This was one of our most active seasons since 2005, when Wilma directly hit Southwest Florida as a Category 3.
Most people look forward to seeing the names of hurricanes every year, even if they hope one won’t come our way. The National Hurricane Center originally began naming tropical storms in 1953. Storm names are still available for viewing on their website, but the names are now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.
Each list of storm names is used in a six-year rotation. So, this year’s list will be used again in 2024. If a storm is considered too deadly, or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer used for reasons of sensitivity. In those cases, a name is replaced during an annual World Meteorological Organization meeting. This year, for example, Sandy was on the list; however, that name was retired after Superstorm Sandy wreaked her havoc in the northeast in 2012.
2018’s storm names are the following: