The 2018 extended range tropical forecast has been released by Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science.
As at April 5, the forecast is for slightly above average storm activity for the Atlantic Ocean basin. The current weak La Niña is not expected to transition into a significant El Niño by summer and fall. El Niño conditions create vertical wind shear that inhibits hurricane formation. Without wind shear, the tropical Atlantic is conducive to storm development.
The forecast predicts a slightly above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.
(full details at http://tropical.colostate.edu)
2018 Forecast numbers:
|Atlantic Hurricane Season||April 2018 forecast||30-year Median|
|Named storms (>35mph winds)|| 14||12|
|Hurricanes (>72mph winds)|| 7||6.5|
|Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)||3||2|
|US landfall likelihood||63%||52%|
|Gulf Coast landfall probability||39%||31%|
|Major Hurricane in Caribbean|
|Manatee County hurricane landfall|
|Manatee County tropical storm|
|Manatee County >75mph wind gusts|
In 2017, after a long period of low storm activity and 11 years without hurricanes, Anna Maria Island received a glancing blow from Hurricane Irma, which had devastated the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean as a Category 5, and then became a Florida coast-to-coast storm event after landfall in SE Florida. The eye passing to the east reduced major impact on Anna Maria Island but brought trees down and power out for several days. 92 mph winds were reported but no storm surge or flooding. The Anna Maria City Pier was damaged beyond repair.