(CNS): Just one month into the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, experts from Colorado State University have reassessed their seasonal predictions downwards and are now calling for a lot less storm action in our region over the next five months. In its July update, the team, led by Philip Klotzbach, said there remains some uncertainty but they now estimate that 2018 will see ten named storms, four of which will be hurricanes. “The tropical Atlantic is much colder than normal,” the forecasters stated, explaining that this means less fuel for developing tropical cyclones.
“Also, the odds of a weak El Niño for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2018 have increased,” the team reported, noting that If El Niño develops, it would tend to lead to more vertical wind shear in the Caribbean, extending into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they are trying to develop and intensify.
Regardless of this prediction, residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season and everyone needs to fully prepare.
A final seasonal update for the 2018 Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts will be issued next month, but two-week forecasts for Atlantic TC activity will be issued during the peak of the season from August to October.
In the meantime, the National Hurricane Center is currently watching a small area of low pressure and a tropical wave located between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles, which forecasters said remained well organised, and a tropical depression could form at any time. This disturbance was forecast to move westward or west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, but upper-level winds were expected to become unfavorable, with the system forecast to become a trough of low pressure before it reaches the Lesser Antilles.
Here in Cayman, the local weather service is calling for isolated showers in and around the Cayman area, moving towards the west to northwest on Thursday, with the outlook of similar weather through the weekend.