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Research and Innovation

NC State Researchers Predict Active 2018 Hurricane Season for East Coast

The Belltower at NC State.

For Immediate Release

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be significantly more active than the overall averages from 1950 to the present, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

The 2018 season should see 14 to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes forming in the Atlantic basin, which includes the entire Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, according to Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences at NC State. The 1950 to 2017 average for named storms is 11.

Of those named storms, seven to 11 may grow strong enough to become hurricanes (which is above the average of six), with the possibility of three to five storms becoming major hurricanes.

This year’s numbers for the Gulf are also above the average of three named storms. Xie’s data indicate the likelihood of five to six named storms forming in the region, with one to two of the storms becoming a hurricane.

Xie’s methodology evaluates more than 100 years of historical data on Atlantic Ocean hurricane positions and intensity, as well as other variables, including weather patterns and sea-surface temperatures, to predict how many storms will form in each ocean basin.

NC State collaborators on the research include Joseph Guinness, assistant professor of statistics, and Xia Sun, graduate research assistant in marine, earth and atmospheric sciences.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.