SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE

Klotzbach’s hurricane outlook probability for 2018

SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE - A close up of a map - Angle

Ten years ago:

Remember Ike in 2008? How about the other eight hurricanes and five major hurricanes that hit that year. Unlike 2005, it wasn’t the amount of storms, it was the number of storms that made landfall — all but one. It was a destructive season and deadly for Haiti, which suffered four consecutive storms that killed about 800 people. Ike was the strongest of that season — reaching Category 4 strength — and made landfall in both Cuba and Galveston, Texas. It was a huge storm that caused massive flooding even in the interior of the U.S.

Hurricane forecasters work year round, attempting to predict what Mother Nature will do. They take into account wind patterns and water temperatures. Many — such as Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach and the National Hurricane Center — start issuing predictions beginning in April and then update them again in early June.

At presstime for this guide, the first Atlantic subtropical disturbance had formed off the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Oh, Alberto.

Is that any type of harbinger? Maybe, maybe not. However, the experts have already upgraded their initial guesses. Final predictions will be issued at the beginning of June. NHC’s forecasters call for 10 to 16 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes and 1 to 4 major hurricanes. (That’s higher than the average of 12, 6 and 3 respectively).

“We should be prepared every year. If you tried to guess which year is going to be the bad year, you’re doing it wrong. We need to turn it into a culture — every year in May, we go through this certain process. It’s just a part of living in the Keys.”
— Marty Senterfitt, county emergency management director

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Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes weird and wonderful children (she has two); and occasionally tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.