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2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Comes to a Close

Today is the closing of the 2018 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season.  The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was forecasted to be normal to slightly above normal in the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico this year. The season turned out to be above normal, but more specifically above normal in the North Atlantic and normal over the other areas of the basin. A total of fifteen named storms and one tropical depression formed. Of these fifteen named storms, eight became hurricanes and two) reached major hurricane status – category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  The two strongest storms of the season were Hurricanes Florence and Michael with winds of 140 and 155 mph.  The major factor that supported the above-normal activity in the North Atlantic was the presence of above-normal Sea Surface Temperatures. In the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, the normal condition was supported by a strong vertical wind shear, this makes conditions less conducive for tropical cyclone development.  Of the fifteen systems that formed during the season, Belize was not affected by any.