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Hurricane Outlook Downgraded To 'Below Average'

2017 was a busy year for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and one of the costliest. Researchers predict below-average storm activity in 2018.
National Hurricane Center
/
NOAA
2017 was a busy year for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and one of the costliest. Researchers predict below-average storm activity in 2018.

One group of forecasters has decreased its 2018 hurricane season forecast from above-average to below-average.There are typically about 12 named storms in the Atlantic during hurricane season.

 

Earlier this year, all the major forecasts predicted there would be more than that — about 14.But researchers at Colorado State University now expect storm activity in the Gulf to be slightly below-average. They're predicting 11 named storms.

The change in forecast is due to observed conditions in the Gulf.Several ingredients that go into a hurricane season forecast — like whether it's an El Niño year, and the surface temperature of the ocean water. Colorado State forecaster Phil Klotzbach says the Atlantic is a lot colder than normal for this time of year.

 

"Which is good news," he says, "because colder water means less fuel for hurricanes."

 

But he says that doesn't necessarily mean storms will be weaker when they happen.

 

"Yeah I mean you need to be prepared the same for every hurricane season, regardless," he says.

 

Klotzbach says 1965 was technically a below-average season, but it still produced Hurricane Betsy, which caused a lot of damage in Louisiana.

 

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Travis Lux primarily contributes science and health stories to Louisiana's Lab. He studied anthropology and sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and picked up his first microphone at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole, MA. In his spare time he loves to cook -- especially soups and casseroles.
Travis Lux
Travis is WWNO's coastal reporter.