The Hurricane Genesis & Outlook (HUGO) Project at Coastal Carolina University anticipates a “normal to above-normal” hurricane season in 2018, with a high probability of landfall on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, according to its extended range forecast.
Based on climate factors available in April, the HUGO outlook predicts that there will be a range of 11-to-18 named tropical storms (with 15 considered most likely), with 5 to 9 of those becoming hurricanes (with 7 most likely) and 2 to 5 (3 most likely) becoming major hurricanes during the 2018 season (June 1 until November 30).
The most probable scenario under the HUGO study calls for at least one hurricane landfall on the East Coast and at least one other on the Gulf Coast. The second most likely scenario is that no hurricanes will make landfall on either coast.
Scenarios for the 2018 hurricane season are dependent on a number of factors in the latter part of June and in July.
The school said updated outlooks will be released later in the season as more observational climate data become available.
The HUGO hurricane seasonal outlook model is based on calculations of 22 climatological factors. The model also considers detailed statistical data from previous Atlantic hurricanes going back to 1950. The CCU team also computes key factors in advance of an upcoming season to calculate the kinetic energy of storms based on the summation of all tropical storm wind values, observed over an entire hurricane season.
The HUGO model system is updated daily until an incoming hurricane makes landfall, providing specific data on probabilistic storm surge and inundation including time, location and statistical representations of expected water depth along the coastline.