Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

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If this forecast would to verify, it would be a bit less active than the busy 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season-which featured 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.

After the costliest Atlantic hurricane season in history previous year, early forecasts indicate 2018 will be above average.

On average, there is generally 12 named storms and six of those become hurricanes.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, peaking in August and September.

However, the report's authors say there is considerable uncertainty regarding what those temperatures will be during the peak of the season, which the National Hurricane Center says runs from mid-August to late October.

In December, the NHC released preliminary numbers of 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Last years season was a top 10 hurricane season by almost every metric, Klotzbach said.

The forecast comes long before hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and projections will improve as summer approaches.

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This forecast is based on statistical predictions developed using 29 years of past data.

As for the rest of the season, the area from Houston to Florida and up through the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be more favorable for direct impacts from storms, AccuWeather said.

"The current weak La Niña event appears likely to transition to neutral ENSO over the next several months, but at this point, we do not anticipate a significant El Niño this summer/fall".

For those still grappling with the devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria past year, the 2018 hurricane season may not offer a reprieve.

The forecast calls for a 38 percent chance of at least one major hurricane making landfall along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas.

Also, sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic are "slightly cooler than normal", and as such, "provide less fuel for tropical cyclone formation and intensification", they said.

Last years Atlantic storm season was among the strongest seasons on record.