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Forecasters now predict less active hurricane season

Researchers at Colorado State University have once again revised their forecast, and it’s down slightly for this year’s hurricane season. Those experts now say the probability of a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. is below the long-range average. Back in April, we reported their initial predictions were for slightly above average hurricane activity for the 2018 season. That was revised downward to an average season at the first of June. Now, those respected researches have once again lowered their predictions for the hurricane season, which continues through November 30. According to this week’s revised forecast from Colorado State University, their predictions for the 2018 season are for 10 named tropical storms with four reaching hurricane force. The Colorado State forecasters predict only one of those storms to reach major status with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. A major hurricane constitutes a Category 3 or higher on the widely accepted Saffir-Simpson Scale. This year’s predictions compare to the 50-year median of 12 storms per year with 2.3 reaching category 3 or higher. So, what about predictions for our area? These experts from Colorado State now predict the Gulf Coast – all the way from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville here in Texas – has a 21 percent chance of being struck by a major hurricane. The 50-year average is 30 percent. Those forecasters base their predictions on the increased likelihood of a weak El Nino developing in the next several months. Again, hurricane season continues through November 30, and forecasters are now predicting below-average activity. As we like to say, it only takes one storm making landfall in our area to make it an active season for us. With that in mind, the time to prepare is now.  The Houston-Galveston National Weather Service has a 32-page, full-color Hurricane and Severe Weather Guide that area residents might find helpful. We have provided an online link to that latest publication on the top of our homepage at kshn.com. That guide is also available, along with other useful tips, by clicking on the disaster preparedness tab under local information.

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