The grip of a double-dip La Niña is a key clue in a leading hurricane forecast’s early prediction for an above-normal storm season come June 1.
Colorado State University’s first review of the global climate patterns that could influence the 2018 hurricane season found a 60 percent probability that a more active season will unfold, giving a below-average season only a 20 percent probability of occurring.
The December outlook does not predict the number of storms but forecasts the amount of accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, for the season. ACE is a measure of the strength and longevity of a tropical cyclone.
Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the early outlook and protege of storied hurricane expert William Gray, is quick to point out that while CSU’s forecasts are based on 35 years of experience, any prediction this far out is tricky.
“There is always considerable uncertainty as to how much activity an Atlantic hurricane season is going to generate at such a long lead time,” the report notes. “No one can completely understand the full complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system.”